Friday, 7 February 2014

Child abuse

Before I begin this post, I just want to apologize for a lack of content the last few weeks. As you may know we have been having some pretty terrible storms here in the UK recently and that's been keeping me distracted with other things.

My family and I are all fine. The weather thankfully has not really effected us to badly other than the wind doing a good job attacking our garage and knocking everything off the shelves.

For those in Cornwall and the rest of the west country that have been effected badly, I hope you are okay and that your family are well. I cannot begin to imagine the stress and devastation this terrible weather has brought to your lives and I hope that you are able to get back home and back to normality quickly and without to much further stress.

So today I want to talk to you all about Child abuse. While I was doing some research today for my current WIP (work in progress) I was brought to tears by some of the statistics that I read on the NSPCC website.

I'm going to share them with you here, but you can also view them by clicking the link on the line above.

  • Police recorded over 23,000 sex offences against children aged under 18 years in England and Wales between April 2012 and March 2013.1
  • More than one in three children (34 per cent) who experienced contact sexual abuse by an adult did not tell anyone else about it.

    Four out of five children (82.7 per cent) who experienced contact sexual abuse from a peer did not tell anyone else about it.2
  • In 2012/13, ChildLine counsellors dealt with 1.4 million contacts from children about various problems including, bullyingsexual abuseviolence and mental health issues.3
  • On average, every week in the UK at least one child is killed at the hands of another person.4
 The above was copied directly from their website. First of all, I want to look at the last line. On average every week in the UK at least one child is killed at the hands of another person. 

One child almost every week. I don't know about you, but I had no idea. Why don't these children make it into the papers? Why aren't people yelling and screaming on their behalf? What? Are they not young enough? Cute enough? Were they trouble makers? Who knows, but how can we just ignore something like that? 

Childline counsellors dealt with 1.4 million contacts from children about various problems, including Bullying, sexual abuse, violence and mental health issues, in 2012/2013. 

Now if you don't know what Childline is you should. Childline is an organization here in the UK designed to help children who are struggling to have someone they can call for free, for advice, support, or just someone to listen. 

Childline was a massive support to me when I was a child and suffering abuse. When things got unbearable at home, it was Childline I called but like me, the majority of children who call Childline, probably withhold personal information because they are afraid of what might happen.

Imagine what those counsellors go through on a daily basis. Imagine having a child on the end of the phone, scared, injured, and in desperate need of help and being able to do nothing more than talk to them. It must be heartbreaking work and yet there are people out there doing that everyday. Amazing people who just for a short time, give a child reassurance because that's what they did for me. When no one would listen, when I felt completely alone and abandoned. A counsellor at Childline would give me reassurance that at least someone was on my side, that someone was willing to listen and not only listen but believe what I was going through. 

I was beaten up on a regular basis by my mothers partner, while my mother turned a blind eye to it. When I tried to tell her, I was accused of being a liar, even when she walked in and saw him throw me across the room with her own eyes, she refused to believe me, when I said that it was not the first time. 

years later when that same man, punched me in the face in front of her and tried to strangle me unprovoked, she still refused to acknowledge the fact that it had been happening for years and I believed her. I believed she had no idea what that man was doing to me. 

Until recently, for the first time in a long time my mother admitted the truth, came right out and said "I knew he was abusing you." You wanna know the best part. Despite saying she knew several times, despite telling me that she didn't know how I could still talk to her after all that she had allowed to happen to me. Despite all of that my mother turned around after a few weeks and started to deny it all again. 

All my life I had waited and longed for my mum to just say sorry and then she did only to take it all back again. 

Well there are children out there now, going through what I went through and worse. Children living everyday in fear and yet for the most part it just gets swept under the rug. 

People don't want to deal with the reality of what is happening out there on a daily basis to children. 

That on average one child dies in the UK every week. 

Don't tell me that no one knows, that no one see's the signs because I lived that life of abuse, people do see, neighbours, family friends, other family members, teachers even. People see but they say nothing. 

Here's a question for you, would it even do any good to say something? 

Look at Daniel Pelka. 

Look at this Beautiful little boy. Just 4 years old and he was tortured and eventually beaten to death by his own mother and I believe one of her partners. 

Teachers, doctors, police and social workers all were aware of this child and yet he was left there to suffer alone and eventually, to lose his life. This little boy looks very similar to my son, to hundreds of other little boys out there and he did nothing to deserve the life he was given and yet those who could of and should have helped him, did nothing.  You can read more about this poor boy here

But Daniel is not alone. 

Jack Harrison, just a baby. Was admitted to hospital showing serious signs of neglect, then released with no plan for his future care. When he died he had fractures to his arms, legs and ribs. What kind of monster could do that to a baby?

I could go on listing children like this all day, but instead I'm going to send you to another website where there is an extensive and heartbreaking list of beautiful little children, who have lost their lives, when they could have been saved. 

Then what happens if the child is taken into care, do they get a happy ever after. Sometimes perhaps but not always, abuse within the poorly named care system is know to happen and on a regular basis. 

The NSPCC statistics go on to say that: 

  • Police forces in England and Wales recorded over 28,000 cases of children running away from care in 2012.12

Now of course not all of them will be due to abuse, but some are and even so there is something seriously wrong within the care system if the children are running from it. So what? lack of supervision, lack of support, maybe even just a desperate longing for home, because despite what my mum let me go though as a child, I still loved her, I still do despite it all. 

Even in the knowledge that my abuser is still such a good friend of hers that she allows him to dog set for her. 

Child abuse is one of the worst things that can happen to a person, something needs to be done to stop it and stop it now. Abusers and people who allow their children to be abused need to be outed because right now it is far to easy for people to get away with it. 

well that's all from me, 
love and hugs Joss xxx


  1. What a frightening post. The statistics are upsetting, and your own story was even more touching. We cannot change who our parents are, but we can refuse to define ourselves by their opinions, treatment, or abuse. Surround yourself with a group of loving and supportive friends and most of all - learn to love yourself and be your own "mother," your own advocate. Wishing you all the best.

    1. awww thank you for your lovely comment Lexa I really appreciate it and apologies for taking so long to respond. I've been in a writing whirlwind on my latest WIP lately and have been so engaged with that I've had no time left to do much else :) but I really do appreciate you stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment so thank you

  2. This is such a sad and honest post. Our children do deserve to be protected. I'm sharing this, to help bring more attention to this issue. Thank you for your important contribution and speaking out against child abuse.

    1. awww thank you M.J, I really appreciate you sharing it, and I really do think we need to try and bring more attention to this issue. Especially as I myself had no idea how bad things were or how many kids had lost their life. I think sometimes we assume every child death do to abuse or neglect would make the news, but clearly that is not always the case. I hope you are having a pleasant week and sorry it took me so long to reply :)

  3. I worked for 23 years with abused, neglected and emotionally disturbed kids. Each child had a horror story of his/her own. But what I learned, if taken out of the environment, if given a safe place to live and grow, the kids were remarkably, miraculously resilient. If we can get adults to step up and help and do right, if we can get the foster care "system" to work, children CAN be saved. They can go on to become productive members of society, they can learn to break the chain of abuse. All any child wants is to have a family.

    1. So true Bish and thank you so much for your great comment. I was discussing with a friend recently about social workers and how difficult it must be for them because whatever they do someone thinks they are wrong. I think there needs to be changes to how the decision as to whether to remove a child from a home environment is made, so that it is not just on one person shoulders as it seems to be at present. I am not sure what your line of work was exactly, but being that you worked with Children in those situations you must have seen all sorts of things from all points of view and so perhaps have a better idea of how it works when a child is taken into care. Any way thank you again for taking the time to leave a comment. :)

  4. It's terrifying to think what's happening to our children.

    I live in South Africa and although I haven't seen statistics, I'm aware of a serious problem with child abuse. I mean... If I think back over the past few weeks, most of them had cases of children... scratch that... toddlers and babies being sexually abused, killed or both.

    It's horrifying to live in a society where at least a portion of its members believes that it's okay to abuse those who can't defend themselves.

    Sadder still, there doesn't seem to be an end to this trend.

    1. I know it's petrifying and if anything the trend seems to be growing rather than abating and it really is heart breaking. I sometimes feel like we are so helpless in this world to do anything to change the way things are. The government doesn't seem interested in anything but money, money and more money. I sometimes wonder if we need to find a way for real people to have an import in the running of countries. I can't see it ever happening though.
      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment I really appreciate it.

  5. I don't know the statistics either Misha, but the rate of abuse of children in this country is very very high. I don't know why we watch and let it happen, Joss, but I have come to see that sometimes, people DON'T WANT TO see. They don't want to disrupt their own lives....they want someone else to take action, not them. It's sad.

    1. That's so true Damaria. I think a lot of people really do think that if they don't say anything someone else will but sadly it is not always the case.

  6. Child abuse is deplorable and it seems to be growing and spreading through all countries. Here in my own city in the USA, the stories that make the news are usually the ones that resulted in a fatality. I agree with Damaria's conclusion.

    1. Forgot to say I found you through the blog hop and followed you! Love your blog!

    2. It's so sad to think that it just keeps continuing and your right it is the same in all countries. People need to stop and think how would I feel if this was done to me. I wish I could just dive in sweep up all the kids who are abused and show them what love is. Every child deserves a good start in life. If only other people could see that. Awww I am glad you like the blog I don't post as much as I used to and am a little slow to respond to comments but I always get there in the end. :) xx