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Dealing with Child Abuse

Child abuse can take on many forms—whether psychological or physical. Child abuse is defined as the maltreatment or neglect of a child by parental figures or caregivers.

According to the CDC, about 1 in 7 children experience child abuse and neglect. Although these statistics are shocking, it is important to understand that no matter the problem, emotional or physical abuse is never okay. Abuse of any kind can make you feel hopeless, worthless, or deeply saddened… and living with the consequences of child abuse affects the perception of every day life and relationships.

Fortunately, there are some ways that may help navigate through emotional abuse from family.

1. Remember you are strong and that it is not your fault.

While we cannot choose our families, we can strengthen our mentalities and remind ourselves that abuse is never acceptable. There is no reason for someone to be neglected and therefore you can not blame yourself for the problems caused by others.

2. Recognize the warning signs.

Abusive patterns might be evident in your parents behavior. Recognizing the times that your parents might be more likely to be abusive can give you a warning to remove yourself from a situation. Avoiding these patterns can relieve some of the tension from a household.

3. Keep your cool.

Being abused can foster many different types of emotions. However, some of our responses can sometimes worsen a situation. Being overwhelmed by anger and resentment might escalate the abuse. Remember that their actions are not acceptable and that their words are not true and give yourself time to calm yourself. Breathing exercises might help you keep a level head and collect your thoughts. While this is incredibly hard, especially in the context of this situation, trying to stay calm when the abuse is happening can deescalate the situation and avoid further abuse.

4. Express yourself respectfully.

Communication is key to any relationship. Communicating your feelings to your parents can be a good step forward in any situation. If you can effectively convey your disapproval to their behavior, they might become aware of their destructive actions. Never belittle your thoughts and feelings, especially if they are hurting you. Depending on the type of abuse, you may have a say in the situation by talking about it with your parents. Be clear, concise, and include examples.

5. Ask for help if you are constantly being threatened.

*If you feel scared and in danger, please reach out to the authorities or a trusted adult that can help you through a situation. If the abuse becomes physical, remove yourself from your parents and go somewhere you feel safe and reach out to emergency services.

For emergency responders dial: 911 or 988 for mental health assistance.

For the National Domestic Violence Hotline dial: 1-800-799-7233

or text “START” to 88788.

You can also report abuse to the Florida Department of Children and Families by calling: 1-800-962-2873.


No one should have to suffer through abuse. You are worthy of being loved and appreciated. It is not your fault. Adopt some of these tips and reach for help when you feel ready to. You can also confide in some trusted friends, teachers, or administration that can help you cope with your situation.

Written by

Rolando Morales


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