Abuse and Neglect

Abuse & Neglect


Abuse can be found in 4 major areas of your life:

HOME Your parents, legal guardians, siblings, or anyone else who lives in what you call “home.” SCHOOL Your teachers, general faculty, administrators, like your principle or the secretary, classmates, or even your bus driver. PEER GROUPS Your classmates, siblings, and friends. They also could be fellow boy scouts, kids in your neighborhood, technically anybody who is about the same age as you are. WORK/LEISUREPeople you interact with outside of home and school such as internet contacts, your boss, your soccer coach, your coworkers, or your youth group leader, summer camp counselor, etc.

Teens Share Their Stories:

Home “When I finally got home from the WHO show, the dashboard clock read ‘3 AM.’ I was three hours late. My Dad was waiting for me in the kitchen. I’d never seen him so angry. I tried explaining, but he didn’t understand. He said he never gave his parents ‘the crap’ I give him and that he never has time to do things like go to concerts since he spends all his time ‘dealing with me.’ Things got so bad he told me that he and my mother weren’t counting on having me when they did, and now, I’ve been a real pain in his ass. He apologized to me the next morning, but I’ll never forget that last thing he said.” - James, 16 Teenagers and their parents are usually at different turning points in their lives. Just when you’re enjoying more responsibility and get to do things you could never before, your parents may be realizing their lives are more-or-less settled, and they may miss the flexibility they once had. These changes can create opportunities for neglect and abuse, since some parents start thinking their children “don’t need their help” and others, as this case shows, get abusive. If you’re in a situation like this, explain your feelings to the parent you get along with, or, if you’re facing abuse from both parents, try a school guidance counselor. School “Every week in Mrs. Newman’s geometry class, she gave us quizzes with only four problems on them, each worth 25 points, and no partial credit, the tests were impossible to finish, and the homework assignments took forever. I was so stressed and frustrated, spending way more time on my math homework than for any other class. I would always go to get extra help from Mrs. Newman after school, and she would say, ‘You know, John, if you don’t pass this class, you’re going to have to take it again next year. It will not look very good on your college applications.’ She would have me answer problems on the board, that I didn’t know how to do, in front of the whole class, and then say, ‘See class, this is what happens when you don’t read the text book.’ It was so embarrassing. She gave me a D at the end of the year, saying it was only because I had showed some effort.” – John, 17 The stress, embarrassment, anxiety, and unfair treatment that Mrs. Newman put John through is a form of abuse. It took his focus away from his other classes and could have been potentially detrimental to his future. If you are experiencing this from a teacher, tell your parent or a school administrator, so that the problem can be investigated. Peers “As I headed to class I heard a cruel voice say behind me, “Hey, Fatso, if you move any slower, I’m gonna have to throw you down the stairs.” I hurried, knowing it was Brad who had been on a mission to make my life as miserable as possible since the day I accidentally spilled milk on his lap in the lunchroom. No matter how hard I would try to avoid him, he still managed to run into me and make some cruel comment. One day, Brad called from behind me, “Hey! You might wanna lay off the Snickers bars.” Everyone laughed, and I was so tired of him ridiculing me, that I turned around and pushed him. Not expecting it, he fell over, to the amusement of the rest of the kids in the hall. It felt pretty good to get Brad back, but the next day, he punched me in the face, knocking me unconscious and breaking my jaw.” – Joyce, 15 This is a typical case of bullying that evolved into extreme violence. Joyce was forced to spend her time in school feeling anxious and fearful. If you feel that you are being bullied by someone, report it to a school administrator, as well as your parents who can ensure that you are getting the help you need and give you emotional support. Work/Leisure "This year I made my town’s elite travel basketball team. I was so excited because I was the youngest one to make it. I worked really hard to be a good player. But Coach Harrison always would pick on me. He swore at me and told me I was a dumb as a wall because I couldn't remember one of the plays. Then he said I was so fat that I'd never be fast enough to be good. He made me stay late after practices alone and would make me run sprints and yell at me. Sometimes I would throw up when we were done. When we lost that game against the Ravens, he told the whole team it was my fault we lost because I missed that free throw, and knocked me against a locker. I tried my best. While I was on the team my grades got worse, I started to stop eating and my parents noticed I was depressed all the time and would cry a lot, especially when I knew I was always letting Coach down." - Sarah, 14 Sarah's parents removed her from the team. Coaches should not be allowed to verbally, emotionally or physically abuse players. Sarah was showing psychological symptoms of abuse including low self-esteem, depression, social withdrawal, and an eating disorder.