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Myths about child abuse

Myth: Child abuse is rare

Fact: We now know that many traditional childrearing practices, such as hitting, threatening or shouting at children, are harmful to children's physical and psychological health. We also know that between a quarter and third of children will experience sexual assault before the age of 18.

Myth: It is only abuse if it is violent

Fact: Child abuse does not necessarily involve violence or anger. Abuse often involves adults exploiting their power over children, and using children as objects rather then respecting their rights as young people.

Myth: People lie about child abuse for attention and sympathy

Fact: Research shows that it is very rare for a person of any age to state they were abused when they were not. However, “false negative reports” of abuse are common e.g. many adults state that they were not abused as children when they were. Police and court statistics also demonstrate that it is very rare for a person to fabricate a claim of child abuse.

Myth: Children grow out of bad experiences in childhood

Fact: Adults are often deeply affected by childhood trauma and abuse. You cannot just “get over” it. Survivors need the right care and support to overcome the impacts of abuse, recover and live full and healthy lives.

Myth: People who sexually abuse children are mentally ill

Fact: Most people who sexually abuse children are not mentally ill. They are often married or have sexual relationships with adults as well. In anonymous surveys, a significant minority of men in the community indicate a sexual interest in children.

Myth: People who sexually abuse children have been sexually abused themselves.

Fact: The majority of sexually abused children are female, and yet the majority of sexual abusers are male. Some studies have found that sexually abusive men are more likely to report a history of sexual abuse than other men. However, the majority of men who sexually abuse children do not report being sexually abused in childhood.

Myth: People do not “forget” child abuse, therefore “recovered memories” are false

Fact: For over one hundred years, traumatic amnesia has been documented amongst war veterans, survivors of natural and man-made disasters, and adult survivors of child abuse. These memories can later resurface through flashbacks, nightmares and intrusive thoughts.  These memories have sometimes been called “recovered memories”.

Myth: Children are very suggestible and they can easy "make up" stories of abuse

Fact: Children are no more suggestible than adults, and can clearly distinguish between reality and fantasy. Research has shown that children resist making false reports during leading and suggestive interviewing techniques. Since the early 1990s, training has been available to social workers and psychotherapists in relation to neutral and evidence-based interviewing techniques with children who disclose abuse.

 

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Latest Articles

Members Revealed for National Redress Scheme by admin
on Monday, 19 December 2016.
Parents urged to hold children close as figures show childhood trauma leads to adult mental health issues by Lydia
on Monday, 7 November 2016.
Turnbull government announces massive compensation scheme for sex abuse victims by admin
on Monday, 10 October 2016.
Trauma and the Law by admin
on Wednesday, 5 October 2016.
Survivor Workshops by Kate
on Wednesday, 7 September 2016.

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Testimonials

“Blue Knot Foundation has a key role to play in the building of community capacity in care provision to those who have experienced childhood abuse and trauma in any environment.”

NIALL MULLIGAN Manager, Lifeline Northern Rivers

“I think Blue Knot Foundation is a fantastic support organisation for people who have experienced childhood trauma/abuse, for their families/close friends and for professionals who would like to learn how to more effectively work with these people.”

Psychologist Melbourne

“It's such a beautiful thing that you are doing. Helping people to get through this.”

ANONYMOUS

“It was only last September when I discovered the Blue Knot Foundation website and I will never forget the feeling of support and empathy that I received when I finally made the first phone call to Blue Knot Helpline, which was also the first time I had ever spoken about my abuse.”

STEVEN

"At last there is some sound education and empathetic support for individuals and partners impacted by such gross boundary violations.”

TAMARA

Contact Us

Phone: 02 8920 3611
Email: admin@blueknot.org.au
PO Box 597 Milsons Point NSW 1565
Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm AEST

Blue Knot Helpline
Phone: 1300 657 380
Email: helpline@blueknot.org.au 
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm AEST

For media comment, please contact:
Dr Cathy Kezelman AM
0425 812 197 or ckezelman@blueknot.org.au

For media enquiries, please contact: 
Christine Kardashian, Group Account Director
0416 005 703 or 02 9492 1007 or christine@launchgroup.com.au