When the Cycle of Child Abuse is NOT Broken

by Erika
(California, USA)

My older brother, four sisters and I were victims of physical, verbal, emotional abuse, and neglect. I am grateful that from the time I was 8-12 years old my grandmother took me to live with her. Under her loving care I learned that the way I used to live was not normal, it was not right...it is heartbreaking to see how my sisters now abuse their children.


My older sister's child shivers and is so afraid of my sister when she is angry. Worst of all, we have no contact with her or her family anymore. She has anger management problems and has been arrested for physically attacking another person. I have reported it to Child Protective Services, and I feel horrible knowing that she is my sister and a victim herself and knowing that she thinks there is nothing wrong with what she is doing. She thinks that because they are her children she can do whatever she wants to them...I feel guilty for what might happen to her, and if it will negatively affect her children. I keep thinking she does provide a home for them, clothes, and food. I just can't help but to think that children also need love, kind words, and more than anything to feel safe, to have a good uplifted self esteem.

I remember how I used to feel being called a "bitch", "an idiot", and "a worthless peace of trash", and with those words, the beatings and the heartache. I truly did believe those words when I was a child.

Child abuse is wrong! Yes, sometimes parents raise their voice and punish their children, but hitting, name-calling, or depriving them of a meal is not a punishment, its abuse!

If you've been a victim yourself accept it, accept that it's wrong and break the chain. Your children and the children of your children should not suffer for your parents', or your grandparents' mistakes.

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: I regret that I can no longer continue the practice of commenting on visitor submissions to the degree I have in the past, as I am currently writing a book on healing from child abuse. I ask that you please read my post of June 24, 2009 titled Announcement Regarding my Comments for a complete explanation. I welcome you to follow my progress on my Facebook page at Healing from Child Abuse. When you get there, don't forget to click onto the Become a Fan link. I do hope to hear from you there.

Email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in visitor comments are STRICTLY prohibited, and could result in being banned from making further comments on this site.

Comments for When the Cycle of Child Abuse is NOT Broken

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Aug 30, 2009
You did the right thing...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Very well stated, Erika. And you have nothing to feel guilty for. You did the right thing by those children. They cannot protect themselves, therefore, it is up to the adults in their lives to ensure they are kept safe. Thank you for sharing your story and that of your sister's with my visitors and me.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Aug 31, 2009
Love the children that are in danger of abuse.
by: maurice

Oh Erika good on you, how right you are in certain rather than in many family situation the Cycle of Abuse is not broken. But with you as a caring Auntie your sister children will be loved and safeguarded from abuse. Great you were ever so brave to tell on your sister. Not an easy thing for any sibling to do. Darlene knows best and has given you words of empowerment and affirmation. She sure is aware that because a small number have never accepted that they were abused themselves and know no better that they rear their own children the same. I know at least three of the boys who were in schooled with me who still use spanking as they call it discipline and while I would have pointed it out to them they continued, Their children have done fine in life but sadly on of them still spanks his children. So the certain circumstance the cycle of abuse continues. I am not condoning it in any way or in any form. Once I tried to highlighted my conscious was easy I can't live the other person life for them. I am against all forms of abuse. Erika by writing your story you have done good and remind us all that we must always defend the innocent child from abuse. Thank You. Keep loving yourself and believing in yourself. Love the me in the mirror, hug the me in the mirror. You sure are a wonderful and beautiful woman. Keep healing. love and be loved by your closest and trusted of friends.

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