Does Shielding Children from Information About Abuse Put Them in More Danger?

Hayden Creech, Staff Writer

   Domestic child abuse is increasing with COVID-19 as kids and parents undergo stressful times and are shut away from teachers, doctors, and neighbors who may report their suspicions of violence. How can children survive in those terrifying situations when no one has taught them how?

     We have all grown up learning that adults know more than us, that they should be respected and listened to. They should be because adults have more life experience, more responsibility, and the capability to take care of us. However, this idea is too cut and dry; it neglects to account for the mothers, fathers, babysitters, doctors, teachers, and other trusted people in a child’s life that aren’t doing what they should be. While adults have the capability to take care of us, they don’t always do so. What about the dangerous adults who sexually abuse innocent children? Should children be taught to obey them? By instructing young generations so adamantly to be acquiescent to adults, are we not encouraging, welcoming abuse?

    With 700,000 children suffering from abuse annually in the US, it is time to make a change, to rethink the curriculum and flip the script. Don’t be fooled into thinking that those children live on a different side of town or worse- did something to deserve what happened to them. Children all around the country who have done nothing wrong are abused, and odds are that it has happened to someone you know. 

     Imagine how different the situation would have been if someone informed them about abuse. If there was a class on how to protect themselves, how to stand up to the adult. Instead, they have been taught to respect an adult’s authority, to obey them.

        If we could shift how we explain adult authority to children, then our measures wouldn’t have to be reactive but could be preventative, significantly lowering child abuse around the country. If we could teach kids and adolescents that, no matter how trusted the adult, certain actions are wrong, then suicide rates could decrease in adolescents by close to 40%.

   Yes, respect between a parent and child is important. Yes, adults have more life experience and knowledge than children. Yes, the world seems bad enough right now. 

       But, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t adults in this world who are dangerous and violent. That doesn’t mean that the threat isn’t real.

     Informing kids at a young age about dangerous adults shouldn’t be avoided in an attempt to protect them, shielding kids from information about abuse does nothing but put them in more danger.