Thursday, August 13, 2015

Child Abuse Is Most Costly Health Issue

In Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk's book, The Body Keeps The Score", he discusses the ACE study.  If you're not aware of the ACE study, it helps correlate the cause and effect between Child Abuse and the number of health issues these people will face.  I may be paraphrasing this a little too much, but just do a google search on the ACE study and you'll see what I mean.

According to Robert Anda, he realized that through the ACE study, the gravest and most costly public healthy issue in the US is child abuse.  Overall, his calculations showed that the health costs far exceeded those of cancer or heart disease.  If we could eradicate child abuse in the US, we would reduce the overall rate of depression by more than half, alcoholism by two-thirds, and suicide, IV drug use, and domestic violence by three quarters.

Think about this for a minute.  How much care and attention do we really give to child abuse?  Yes, we get worked up when we see Oprah do a story on 200 Male Survivors.  Yes, we give lip service to how horrible it is.  Yes, we think it all just exists only in the Catholic church.  Yet, do we really do much more than that?

My answer is NO WE DON'T!  We don't want to look at these things.  We want to sweep them under the rug.  Far too often, the ones in charge have either been abused themselves and still have not come to terms with it, or they are abusers themselves.

I feel this is the reason that not enough is being done.  It is far easier to hide, then to acknowledge what has gone on.  It is far easier to not expose child abusers, rather than shine a light on them.

Its easy to think that the child abusers are some perv looking person hiding in the bushes, but in fact the majority of them are known to the victims.  They are members of our churches, communities, and families so we dare don't expose them.

I keep wondering when we are truly going to get serious in this country about how we treat our children.  We care about the unborn but we don't really care enough about the children once they are born.  It is an issue that permeates society like a poison.

I totally agree that child abuse is the most costly public health issue in our country.  We're not doing enough about it.  Until we begin to say enough is enough and that becomes the norm in our culture, we are nothing more than part of the problem.

It is up to each one of us to say, not on my watch.  I'm not going to let this happen any longer.  If we care about the children, we will begin doing something to stop child abuse..

Blog Post And Images (c) 7/1/15 by Don Shetterly

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