Child abuse happens when things go terribly wrong. Parents need to know it’s all about prevention, and they can make a difference. Because we want to put The Winning Family into every parent’s hands, the ebook is on sale this week for 99¢!
An excerpt from Parenting and Empowerment, Chapter 15 of The Winning Family:
Violence: The Abuse of Power
Understanding power dynamics is crucial for a safer world. A 1992 study revealed that, of all the industrialized nations, the United States was the most violent, and since then, police violence has increased (disproportionately so against Black Americans). Worldwide, women and children are the primary victims of violence, and men are the primary perpetrators. Conditioned to accept violence and trained to commit violence, many men have difficulty talking about how it affects them—as perpetrators or as targets, when they are victims of child abuse, rape, or war.
Violence is the number-one health hazard in this country, more threatening than cancer, heart disease, or even automobiles. Here are some 2020 statistics.5
- Terrorism is on the rise worldwide, with far-right extremism on the rise in the United States and beyond.
- One in three women worldwide suffer physical or sexual abuse by an intimate partner.
- Since 1963, four times more teens have been killed by guns at home than soldiers killed in all wars since then combined.
- Over 60 percent of women have experienced violence online (and 6 percent of men).
- Mass shootings are now so common that many aren’t even reported in the news.
Every family has to deal with violence in some form or another, within the home, among extended family, in the community, or on the news. Children raised in violent homes learn violence as a way of life, doing unto others what was done unto them or what their parents did to each other, unless they find safety in which to heal and make new choices. Many boys raised in violent households become perpetrators, while their sisters learn to accept abuse as normal.
Violence of all kinds is reaching epidemic proportions in US families, and it does not stay within families. Childhood maltreatment roughly doubles the probability that an individual engages in many types of crime.6 Because violence creates ripples, domestic violence is not a private family problem. It affects all levels of society.
Violence has become so widespread in our society that we have come to accept it as normal, but it not normal. In fact, America is below average compared to other developed countries, according to the International Peace Index.7
Raising children with positivity will not protect them from all bullying and violence, but it absolutely builds resilience and instills a respectful and compassionate moral code, plus a sense of empathy and justice.
If you live in an abusive home, be responsible for your own safety and that of your children. You must ﬁnd someone to talk to. You must get help. Visualize what you want for yourself, and muster your courage to make a change.
Timing is important. Protect yourself and your kids from harm. This is your right and your responsibility.
If you were raised in an abusive family, instead of repeating past mistakes, learn from them. Remember what it was like for you. Instead of wounding your children, heal yourself. You didn’t deserve abuse; neither do your kids. Seek information. Get help. Find supports. Believe in yourself. Be smart as you build your inner strength and skills. Develop a vision of hope. You can move away from past destructive patterns and create a positive healthy future for yourself and your beloved children.
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