Myths About Abuse & Neglect

Myth: Parents who harm their children are bad and unloving parents.

  • Fact: Most parents do love their children and do not mean to hurt them. Many factors and stressors left unattended can lead to one or several bad moments where a parent can lose control with their children. Parents can reach out for support to manage life stressors.

Myth: Someone who is legally responsible for a child and did not directly cause harm to the child, cannot be held legally responsible for child abuse.

  • Fact: A person may be held legally responsible for child abuse by permitting (knowing about it) and failing to act to protect the child.

Myth: Good parents don’t get frustrated or angry with their children.

  • Fact: All parents get angry at their children sometimes. It’s okay to be angry, but it is not okay to hurt your children in anger. Angry feelings cannot get you into trouble but violent behavior can.

Myth: Abused and neglected children almost always come from poor, minority or inner-city families or neighborhoods.

  • Fact: Child abuse is NOT specific to ethnicity or socioeconomic background. Some studies indicate that some child abuse is under reported.

Myth: Abused children always cry if they are being hurt.

  • Fact: Children who experience chronic or long term abuse unfortunately can adapt to their environment even if it is an abusive one and often will no longer cry in response to pain.

Myth: Parents always feel good and have positive emotions about their own children.

  • Fact: Some parents may struggle at times feeling positively toward their children for various reasons which may lead to abuse. It is important to be aware of your feelings and not be afraid to talk with someone about how you are feeling.

Myth: The child may be at fault for encouraging the sexual activity.

  • Fact: A child cannot be held responsible for the abusive behavior of an adult. The child is in a vulnerable position compared to the adult, who often has authority over the child.

Myth: When a child says that they have been sexually assaulted and then later says that it didn’t really happen, this means the child is lying.

  • Fact: Children may retract an allegation because of pressure placed on them by others, family being at risk of breaking up, or parents arguing over the situation.