Why Children Don’t Speak Out
There are many reasons why children who are suffering may do so silently and may keep their predicament a secret.
They may not realize that what is happening to them is indeed wrong, or they may choose to remember only the times and moments when they are not abused. The abuse, whatever form it may take, might be presented as “normal” by the individual inflicting it. They may be unable to find the right words to describe what is happening to them. The child may be too young to express itself clearly, or not have adequate vocabulary to express what is happening. It might be a refugee or an immigrant and may not be able to express itself in Greek if Greek is not its first language. In any case, children need the voice of an adult to speak on their behalf.
Sometimes the children may realize that what is happening to them is wrong or bad. Still, they choose not to talk about it. They might be afraid that the person who is abusing them will find out and will cause them even greater harm. They might even think that they are themselves responsible for what is happening to them and feel ashamed. There are cases where children may feel they have nobody to confide in about what is happening. They feel that they cannot trust anyone, or that no one will believe them.
They may, in fact, have tried to talk to someone who didn’t believe them and that can be the most disappointing experience for a child – the invalidation of the child not only by the person who is abusing it, but also by the person to whom they confided their predicament. This experience leads a child to desperation, as it feels the situation it is experiencing is inescapable.
Speak on behalf of children. Become their voice. Take responsibility for them and prove that the only way violence against children can be stopped is by showing “Zero Tolerance for Child Abuse.”