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Dec 01, 2008
Part 1: Abusers...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

AJ, yes, I DO know what it's like to have an abusive father. I also know what it's like having a maliciously abusive mother.

Whatever your father's motives for hurting and harming you, it was criminal, of that I have no doubt. There can be no excuses for the mistreatment he doled out to you.

Child abuse happens for a multitude of reasons. When you say you believe the reasons are a combination of "...release of anger...power...to make that specific child miserable" you're not far off. What's very important to understand is that most abusive parents don't enter parenthood planning to be abusive; rather, most are ill-equipped to deal with the responsibility and stresses of raising a child, and/or have child abuse in their own backgrounds that they haven't been able to come to terms with. A reasonable person would say, "It seems to me that if you know what it's like to be abused, you would be far less likely to abuse yourself." Sadly, that isn't always the case. The psyche of the abused mind is complicated and multifaceted, and tied into a wide range of factors that are far too complex to go into detail within the confines of this limited space. Volumes have been written on the question: Why do abusers abuse? Which also begs the question: Why do some abuse victims go on to abuse, while others do not? Much has been written in this field of study.

Studies repeatedly show that the vast majority of child abuse victims do not go on to abuse their own children. But I dispute the statistics in this area of research, because child abuse has been shown to be the most under-reported crime on the planet. When it comes to child abuse, experts can only estimate the true numbers; and these numbers vary widely, depending on the study of the day. Not to mention that even within a single country, provinces and states do not necessarily have a standard definition of child abuse to apply to even the substantiated cases; so how the claim that less than a quarter of child abuse victims go on to be abusers themselves can be made is beyond me. I need only look as far as my own abusive family to question this statistic.

See Part 2: What we can do... below.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Dec 01, 2008
Part 2: What we can do...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

AJ, I believe the real question needs to be: What can each of us do to ensure we do not become abusers?

Education is key:
  • Learn what child abuse is, and then learn about prevention.
  • Prevention includes understanding how physical discipline can easily become abuse.
  • Prevention means learning how to parent effectively, without the use of any form of violence.
  • Prevention means parenting with respect and dignity.
  • Prevention means changing our mindset to one that ensures the rights of a child include the right NOT to be hit, even for correction. How it is that we as human beings can accept that it's perfect all right to strike our smallest and most vulnerable in society, yet incarcerate those adults who would dare raise a hand toward another adult who is capable of defending him/herself, is completely beyond me.
  • Prevention means that parents must incorporate discipline that is firm, fair and consistent.
  • Prevention means that parents must rise above the stresses in their lives and NOT take out those stresses on their impressionable and defenseless children.
  • This is not an exhaustive list...
AJ, you should be so proud of yourself for realizing what fatherhood is supposed to be. When you become a better father in spite of your own father, you will have turned pain into power. I do hope you seek out some form of counselling in order to help you deal with the emotional residue of growing up in such a violent home. You're worth that kind of help, AJ.

Thank you for sharing your story with my visitors and me.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Dec 01, 2008
How Could He?!
by: Francine

How dare your so-called father treat you with hatred! What he did to you was and still is unforgivable. You should've called the police on him. After you called your mom on him, were you still with him or were you in the different family? I hope that you try counselling cuz you are worth the help that you deserve. You are strong. You are not fat, you are not a liar, you are not lazy. You are smart and worthy and articulate. Although i am atheist, I will pray for you. Hang in there! you can always move on, unlike your father; he will stay in his hell forever.

Dec 01, 2008
Child abuse is a bad thing to concider
by: Anonymous

This made me think about how bad child abuse is really and no one really appreciates it any more enough to help you and others out.But what i really liked about your blog was that you had allot of heart in it and you weren't scared to tell your heart out on what all happened between you and your abusive father. I also liked how you asked questions and how you used very simulating words.And i think if everyone could read this,maybe child abuse can stop,or lower the amounts of children getting abused.
Sincerely,anonymous

Dec 01, 2008
expressive
by: touched2mysoul

I read your story and could total relate to your questions of your situation and your point of view... my mother was my abuser but the questions and point of view are still the same... I wish I had the ability to express my experience in the detailed moving way that you did... I can relate and i appreciate your taking the time to share your experience.. it helps to know that others relate in such a similar fashion... the shame is that we have to relate to abuse at all...
Thank you again for sharing

Dec 01, 2008
Good for you!
by: Linda

AJ, I read your story and I applaud you for not letting that beast of a man beat you down. He was the lazy, slob of an s.o.b. not you. I hope he has a rotten life, because he deserves it. I admire you for your courage standing up to him. I could not have done it. You have a lot of strenghth that will get you through life and I think you are an inspiration to the rest of us abuse victims, like myself, aren't as brave as you. Thank you for your story.

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