There is a proverbial question that asks, "If a tree falls and no living creature is around to hear it, did it really fall?" (1) This question is often misdirected at abuse in the form of, “If the abuse took place why was it not reported?” The only time this question is appropriate is when a mandated reporter (a person required by the legal system) fails to report.
Let us be honest with ourselves as individuals and as a society, not all evil is addressed because not all evil is made known. Every day, we find new types of cruel calculating methods of the criminal mind, much like zoologists are finding new species of animals and learning their behaviors. Does this mean that the animals did not exist before it was spotted with the human eye? Of course, not. Does this mean that they did not have essence of life until named? Of course, not. Now if an unknown species within the animal kingdom does not require to be spotted with the naked human eye and does not need to bestowed a name before its essence is recognized to have left an impact upon its circle of influence among the food chain, then why do we act as if a predatory human like species committing criminal behavior found among the human family needs to be seen with the human eye in order to be acknowledge before the victim of the predator is ever believed?
If the tales of Big Foot/Sasquatch are so believed on scant evidence as to convince some governments to acknowledge the mythological creature as endangered and to post "Do not Tresspass" signs in areas the alleged sightings of Big Foot have been to protect the mythological creature from people and the people from the mythological creature, then why are we not taking action to do more to protect our children from the monsters they face that ARE REAL? (2a), (2b), (2c)
So many cases of abuse are not reported for the same exact reason that someone who thinks they have seen a rare beast or a UFO does not say a thing about such incidents, who would believe them? Many people who are abused are children and they know their abusers. Their abusers are familiar to them. Parents, step-parents, foster parents, babysitters, siblings, step-siblings, cousins, parents significant others, teachers, and other entrusted members of the child's world. The abuse is not just black and white, fitting in nicely in categories, treated quickly allowing everyone to move forward without residue. On the contrary, those who have been abused usually relate incidents so gruesome that it can be alarming to know that there are human like figures of a species that transcends all and every type of evil that Hollywood has ever imagined and this species actually mimics humans and preys upon humans namely children. More over the experience(s) are so traumatic that many victims do not remember the abuse(s) until adulthood or do not speak out until adulthood. Because let's face it "Children are to be seen and not heard." In other words, the voice of the children in our global society is not respected. Children, the foundation of every civilization's survival are not respected.
The statistics that are often quoted concerning different types of abuse are made up and/or manipulated especially around the time of the elections. It is very difficult to find reliable concrete stats. The acceptable statistic for female child abuse is that one out of three girls are sexually abused by age ten. For boys it is one out of seven. (Once Upon an Eden believes the numbers for boys is more likely one out of three boys are sexually abused by age ten). It is important to use critical thinking when looking at or listening to statistics. It is helpful to ask oneself, "Where did the fundamental statistics come from?" and to remember all statistics are subjective and can be made up or manipulated.
This also leads into the stats that the number of children who are marketed for sex slaves trafficking starts between the ages of eleven or fourteen. In reality, children can already be part of ring, passed along to other predators, traded to pimps and/ or sold abroad even BEFORE ages eleven or fourteen. Not all children, teenagers, or adults who ever were used in sexual and other forms of abuse and exploitation were randomly kidnapped or lured and then exploited. Most were born and then groomed. So it is very possible that what looks like domestic abuse and or child sex abuse is actually human exploitation in the form of child sex exploitation. Again this makes the statistics askew. There are roughly seven billion people on the planet, chances are, if one person is suffering in one manner there are others suffering in a like manner. If you see a person in need. Help them. No stats are needed really to justify being a decent person.
What should be most alarming is the truth that Abuse is preventable! What does it take to prevent abuse?
*Listen, Acknowledge, Accept that even if abuse was not reported or that the alleged abuse cannot be proven, this does not mean that it did not happen. Especially if a child is reporting the abuse.
*Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of abuse
*Know how to report abuse. (If a child especially, has come to you alleging abuse REPORT the abuse! Even if you do not believe the child REPORT the abuse! Whether you are a legal mandated reporter or not, REPORT the abuse!) The authorities will determine if the abuse did occur or not. You might loose friends but more importantly you may have saved a life. By not reporting you are empowering the abuser to abuse again and again.
*Know what to do to prevent abuse. Take training and start programs to protect yourself and your own loved ones first and foremost, then to help the community.
*Finally and most importantly, be a good friend, even just being a compassionate, decent human being goes a mighty long way in the grand scheme of things. If you find a need, fill it. If you can't fill it yourself, find resources that can.
Abusers are not imaginary monsters to be protected. If you suspect abuse report it.
By not reporting you are empowering the abuser to continue abusing.
Abuse is someone's (usually a defenseless child's) reality that needs to be stopped. Together we can, one seed of action at a time.
(2a) "Peter Wiemer, of the Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo, said this week that the New York State Department of Environmental Conversation listed Bigfoot himself on the protected species list, the Huffington Post tells us. " http://news.yahoo.com/bigfoot-protected-species-155400232.html
(2b) Wednesday, April 19, 2006 [Johor Malaysia government grants bigfoots protected status]
(2c) "In 2007, Mike Lake, a Canadian member of parliament from Edmonton, Alberta, introduced a petition calling Bigfoot to be protected under the Canadian version of the endangered species act." http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/05/16/1092163/-Bigfoot-hunting-legal-in-Texas-but-not-in-California