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You are on your way home from school with a letter from your teacher. She says you are making progress but you need to concentrate more on math. All the way home you feel sick and scared. You walk into your home, hand over the note and the abuse begins.

First, you need to know what abuse is. Abuse is the mistreatment of an individual by means of physical injury, emotional/mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation. It also includes neglect and maltreatment. Abuse can be committed by a parent, relative, guardian, anyone in a role of authority, friend or stranger. In other words, it can be anyone.

I Feel Hurt

You are probably suffering emotionally and physically from the abuse you are suffering. Feelings of depression, confusion, anger and fear are all common. You will probably feel that you deserve what you are getting. Let me tell you, you do not deserve to be abused in any way, shape or form. You have done nothing that deserves a beating, verbal lashing or sexual punishment. No one has the right to abuse you. Abuse is against the law. It is wrong.

I Feel Afraid

Most of the time children who are abused do not tell anyone. They go through the abuse alone. They fear the trouble they will get in if they tell. Or, they fear that mommy or daddy will be taken away and they will be placed in a foster home. It is hard not to love a parent. Even one that is hurting you. These kids live in constant fear. Fear of their abuser(s) and the consequences of telling.

I Feel Good

You do not deserve to be abused. The hardest thing you can do right now is to tell someone what is going on. You may feel embarrassed, afraid or angry. It is OK to feel any or all of these things. It is not always a good idea to tell another family member. Families do not want to accept that their own family is abusing a child. You need to tell someone like a teacher, minister or police officer. Make sure you are clear about what is happening to you. Let them know it is serious and you want to be protected. I cannot stress enough, on how important it is that you tell someone about the abuse. Too many children do not tell and eventually are killed because of the abuse they are suffering. Save yourself, you deserve it. Tell someone.

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