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When does it called abuse?

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  • When does it called abuse?

    My parents yell and cuss at me all the time. A few days ago my dad cracked and started hitting me with the broom handle and choking me. I was really scared, so I told my brother that is married and lives on his own about the incident and he said that it isn't considered abuse until there have been several incidents. I am scared to sleep at night. It is kind of weird because my parents show that they hate me, but then they say "love me". It is really confusing. I have also been experiencing neglect education wise. I'm scared to tell anyone because when they found out that I told my brother they got really angry. Plus, they do actually do love and care for my siblings, but not me. If I called the police would they take my siblings away too? I've always been the odd child; My parents call me the "weird child" because I look different than everyone else; part of me wonders if I'm adopt

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. It shows a lot of courage to come forward with what has happened to you and the emotions associated with those events. It sounds like what your parents have done to you has left a negative impact on you, and no one deserves to be hit or choked. It often is difficult for people to define abuse, especially if they are trying to define something that has happened to them as abuse. Perhaps it is not necessary for the moment to try to figure out exactly what is or is not abusive about your situation. You can always seek help and try to define your experiences later when you are under safer circumstances.
    All of this said, it makes a lot of sense why you would want to call the police, but it also sounds like you have some very valid reasons for being hesitant to do it. This is okay. It is sometimes good to take time to consider all of your options before making an important decision. There are a few different options for what you can do. You can file an abuse report, which can result in social services coming to your school or home to talk to you and your siblings, and them opening a case on the situation you have described to us. You have the right to make an abuse report, and you can do so by calling us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. If you are not sure that you want to make an abuse report, then you can also call us and we can talk to you about the process, which may help you decide if you want to file one or not. Just to let you know, we are what are called “mandated reporters.” This means if you tell us identifying information such as your first and last name, or your address, and you have described a situation that could be considered abuse, that we are obligated by law to file an abuse report. If you do not want this to happen, then we are happy to speak to you anonymously about your experiences. There is a child abuse-specific hotline called ChildHelp that can be reached at 1-800-422-4453. They are a wonderful resource for emotional support in times of crisis and can help you understand social services and resources that may help you. They are also mandated reporters, so you may also want to speak with them anonymously.
    As far as police action is involved, we don’t know exactly how the police would respond to your case if you made an abuse report or if you called the police. This is because we are not legal experts, so we do not know what laws apply where you live. Usually, you can call your local police’s non-emergency number and hypothetically and anonymously talk about different legal situations with someone to see how the police would act if they were called about a certain situation. This may be a course of action you can explore.

    As for the educational neglect, we aren’t exactly sure what specifically you are referring to. Perhaps you could share what’s been going on with your guidance counselor the next time you are able to attend school, and they may be able to help figure out ways to secure a better education for you.

    Again, thank you so much for reaching out. We hope that the options we gave you will help you throughout this difficult time. If you feel like you need to contact us again, you can feel free to do so. We are staffed 24/7 and are confidential, and can help you whenever you need it. We wish you the best of luck.

    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)


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