Dear Priscilla Bennett Friends,
As we come to the end of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, I wanted to share how violence affects children in relation to the Children’s Domestic Abuse Wheel. The wheel is divided into eight sections with these headings: Emotional Abuse, Physical and Mental Effects, Sexual Abuse, Using Children, Threats, Sexual Stereotyping, Intimidation and Isolation.
Emotional Abuse involves doubting reality, fear of doing wrong and expressing feelings, inconsistent limits and expectations by caregiver, inability to learn at school and low self-esteem.
Physical & Mental Effects where children may feel guilt and shame, think it’s their fault, are demanding and withdrawn.
Sexual Abuse involves shame about body, feeling threatened and fearful of their sexuality, inappropriate sexual talk behavior and children having access to pornography magazines and movies.
Using Children where the child is being put in the middle of fights or take on roles of parents and are used to resolve conflicts and take sides.
Threats help child to learn to manipulate because of their own safety issues due to effects of violence in family, expressing anger in a way that is violent, abusive, or not expressing anger because of their own fear.
Sexual Stereotyping helps the child to learn either to copy abuser’s dominant abusive behavior or copy the victimized passive submissive behavior unable to express feelings or who they are.
Intimidation is putting children in fear by: using looks, loud actions, loud gestures, loud voice, smashing things, destroying property with fear of physical safety.
Isolation is the inability to develop social skills, feeling alone and different, keeping harmful secrets and not trusting adults.
In my novel SOMETHING TO BE BRAVE FOR, Rose, Katie’s three-year-old daughter, tries to stop her father from beating her mother. Unable to, she comforts her mother after and blames herself for the battering.
Let’s speak out to help end this hidden epidemic of domestic violence and child abuse.
Take good care of yourselves,
PRISCILLA BENNETT XOXO