Many children are harmed by family members, coaches, daycare workers, aides, church volunteers, Boy Scout leaders, and even other children. Because children are little and scared, they often don’t report the abuse. This is why it is important that the public knows how to identify child abuse to help protect children from their abusers.

In order to determine what child abuse is, we must focus on what it isn’t—revealing the common myths and facts surrounding child abuse. Some of the most common child abuse myths include:

Myth #1: Child Abuse Is Only Physical Abuse

Truth: Child abuse can be more than physical abuse. Although physical abuse is an obvious type of child abuse—causing unexplained bruises, scars, and broken bones—there are other forms of abuse such as child sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect. Unfortunately, these other forms of abuse aren’t as noticeable as physical abuse, making it more difficult to intervene.

Myth #2: Child Abusers Are Adults

Truth: While the majority of child abusers are adults, many cases of child abuse in Florida have occurred from older children. Child-on-child sexual abuse is an issue in our society that is occurring due to lack of supervision at school, in the Boy Scouts, and at church.

Myth #3: Child Abuse Doesn’t Happen in Upper Class Families

Truth: Child abuse can occur in all walks of life from poor families to rich families. This is because child abusers can be hiding behind their economic status or even employed at a private school. Don’t believe for one minute that children from upper class families are protected from child abusers.

Myth #4: The Majority of Child Abusers Are Strangers

Truth: This fact couldn’t be further than the truth. While some child abusers are strangers, the majority of abusers know the child or are family members, coaches, or others in trusted positions in a child’s life.

Myth #5: Abused Children Grow up to Abuse Other Children

Truth: While some abused children who don’t get help do go on to become abusers, many survivors of child abuse who seek professional help, break free from the cycle of abuse. In fact, many child abuse victims are strongly motivated to help protect other children from what they went through.

We hope this article has shed some light on what child abuse is and isn’t, and we encourage you to share this article on Twitter. You never know what child you could help by sharing this information.

Damian Mallard, Esq.
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Board Certified Sarasota Personal Injury Attorney