Child Abuse Myths and The Truth

Myth: It’s only abuse if it’s violent

Truth: Physical abuse is just one type of child abuse. Child neglect, sexual and emotional abuse can inflict just as much damage, and since they’re not always as obvious, others are less likely to intervene.

Types of abuse the Children’s Safety Center saw in 2018

Myth: Abuse doesn’t happen in “good” families

Truth: Abuse and neglect doesn’t only happen in poor families or bad neighborhoods. These behaviors cross all racial, economic, and cultural lines. Sometimes, families who seem to have it all from the outside are hiding a different story behind closed doors.

Myth: Most child abusers are strangers

Truth: While abuse by strangers does happen, most abusers are family members or others close to the family.

The abuser is almost always someone the child knows and trusts

Myth: Abused children always grow up to be abusers

Truth: It is true that abused children are more likely to repeat the cycle as adults, unconsciously repeating what they experienced as children. On the other hand, many adult survivors of child abuse have a strong motivation to protect their children against what they went through and become excellent parents. This is why mental health therapy is so important. The Children’s Safety Center offers trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy, child parent psychotherapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing along with various types of art therapy.

Myth: Child abuse doesn’t happen here

Truth: The Children’s Safety Center saw a total of 838 children in 2018. That is a 24% increase from 2017. Most were child sexual abuse cases.

Child abuse across Washington County in 2018

For more information, download our 2018 annual impact report