Risk factors


WARNING!!!!      Today’s post is a rant.  If this is triggering or uncomfortable for you, skip today’s post.  Have a blessed day.


We have a sweet and kind custodian that takes care of our classroom.  She is so gentle.  Friday she walked in when the teacher and I were talking about next week lesson plans to discuss child abuse.  The subject risk factors.  Our custodian asked me if I was angry.  I started to say no like I was trained to do and then changed it to “Yes, I get angry when books and so called experts state that poverty, unemployment and other things are the risk factors of abuse….”  Here is one of those lists of risk factors:

Parental factors:

  • Parent has already abused a child
  • Pregnancy was not wanted
  • Parent has a background of abuse when growing up
  • Young, unsupported mother often with low education
  • Parents have unrealistic expectations of the child and lack parenting knowledge
  • Parent is isolated and has few supports
  • Parent has a mental illness or is abusing drugs or alcohol

Environmental factors:

  • Overcrowding in the house
  • Poverty or lack of opportunity to improve the family’s resources
  • Family violence is present
  • A non biological adult living in the house
  • Family is experiencing multiple stresses

Child factors:

  • Baby is sickly, colicky or unwanted
  • Child has a physical or developmental disability
  • Child is the product of an abusive relationship
  • Lack of attachment between child and parent


FALSE:  Abuse and neglect are equal opportunities…..social/economical factors have little of nothing to do with it.  Doctors and lawyers can be as abusive as laborers and factory workers.  A mother with a PhD can lose control of her actions just as quickly as a high school drop out.  My theory is “No one know what goes on behind close doors.”  You don’t know how a human will behave with a child until they are with a child 24/7 and no one to hand the child off to.  Every person needs support in parenting.  I am an abuse survivor.  That did not slate me for being an abusive parent.  Made my job harder but not impossible.  What I have learned is some people are better hiding their behavior.  My brothers had little or no idea what was happening to my sister and I.  We lived in the same house but I learned my mother was very careful how she behaved and around whom.  One of the most horrific truths I had to accept was my mother’s behavior was a premeditated thought out attack to do as much harm to me as possible without anyone else finding out.  No group, no religion, no level of education or any other factor indicates whether or not a person will neglect or abuse a child.  Abuse is also not the child’s fault.  Can some children be more trying to a parent than another? YES, however abuse and neglect come from other sources, a parents poor choices.  Lack of understanding what a child needs, misinformation, cultural mores may make things worse for a child.  I also get frustrated with those that say a parent never purposefully harms a child.  FALSE: this has been disproved by more than just my experience.  The first child abuse laws were under the animal abuse laws.  Sadly society is more ready to protect animals than children.  Did I screw up as a parent?  Yes I did.  I owned it and apologized and accept that some of my children do not consider me to be trust worthy.  I accept that is part of being a parent.  I believe we need to stop over looking those children that are not in the risk factor arena and be concerned about every child.  Added to this, each child is so different from each other.  What works for one child, is useless with another child.  What is nurturing for some children come into the ick category for a different child.  Please, take off the blinders that poverty/mental illness/lack of education causes abuse.  Children need to be cared for, watched out for, and sometimes someone other than the parent is the one that can help a child most.



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