As I talked about the event years later in trauma therapy, I remembered the wall drilling into my skull as I tried in vain to escape.
When I went home that day, I was in shock. I told no one–especially my parents, who didn’t allow me to watch television more risqué than The Dick VanDyke show or Andy Griffith. I had no words to define or shape this experience. I boxed it up and shoved it into the cellar of my soul.
But trauma doesn’t work like that.
And left untreated, trauma symptoms may increase as time passes. Unfortunately, many children never receive support or treatment for trauma and abuse. Too often, they go unnoticed and no one comes to their defense.
In Child Maltreatment 2011 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau) it was reported that in 2011 in the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, an estimated 676,596 children were victims of child abuse; and 1,545 children died as a result of abuse or neglect. The majority of child abuse cases stemmed from situations and conditions that can be preventable when community programs and systems are engaged and supportive. A community that cares about early childhood development, parental support, and maternal mental health, for instance, is more likely to foster nurturing families and healthy children.
For further information on child abuse, the following TIP SHEET offers information and suggestions on keeping families strong.