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If a child talks to a school teacher, their parents may find out and the abuse could get even worse.

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Ami Takahashi, director of child abuse victim support organization Yuzuriha. A majority of childhood abuse victims say nothing changed after they sought outside help, while a minority said their situations even worsened, according to the results of a survey conducted by a victim's support group.

© Mainichi Shimbun

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Indeed, if parents learn they will lash out even more. Nothing changes because there are no effective methods to deal with this in Japan so children probably have to suffer till they become independent and can move out. The tragedy is many of them fall into severe depression and resort to the most harmful coping behaviours which then further disables them from obtaining everything they need to move out in the future - knowledge, education, sanity, confidence, social connections etc.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Abuse depends on the person not talking out because of fear. This is particularly so for children. It will take them enormous courage to talk out.

To have it rejected or played back to the parents must be soul destroying, as well as the physical consequences.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is why teachers here need to be mandatory reporters. Any time a student tells a teacher he or she is being abused, or the teacher even suspects abuse (bruises, etc.), the teacher must be required to report it to authorities - not just their coworkers - with legal penalties if they do not. In Georgia, I would have lost my job if I did not report suspected abuse to the police and DFACS. It should be the same here (quality of Japanese police and DFACS not withstanding...).

5 ( +6 / -1 )

One of the challenges is that abused children usually have no basis for comparison. They're born into this family, and it's the only family they've ever known. It may never even occur to them that this situation is unacceptable or irregular, or that they have options for dealing with it (such as telling a teacher).

This is why it's important for schools (and society at large) to make a point to talk to all kids about abuse. Explain what it is. Explain that it's wrong. Explain options. Repeat it every so often. The more information a child has, the more likely he is to take action.

When the topic doesn't get talked about, maybe because it's taboo, or maybe because we don't want to meddle in other people's affairs... that silence strips children of knowledge and power.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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