It’s a sad fact and one that many people try to forget, but everyday nearly 10,000 reports are made regarding child abuse and neglect. According to Child Help, a report is made every 10 seconds in the United States. Last year the reports filed against child abuse involved 6.6 million children.
Making matters worse, an average of four to seven children lose their lives to abuse daily, ranking America as one of the worst countries, statistically. But what about the other thousands of children who survive their abuse? The ones that even make it to adulthood and can escape their horrible situations?
Few of us stop to consider that the adults we interact with daily, may have been victims of child abuse. WINGS Foundation in Denver is a unique organization that provides support, education and resources to victims of childhood abuse and their loved ones. As stated on their website, “We believe: Together we are healthier. Together, we are stronger. Together, we are building a movement that can, is and will – change the world.”
Effects of Child Abuse Don’t End When Victims Turn 18
Every individual case differs dramatically, but experiencing child abuse has a lasting effect on an individual regardless of the specific circumstances. Whether the abuser was caught or not, whether the child received support or was met with disbelief, no matter what, the effects are lasting.
Even more so, the immediate effects shape them into the adults they will grow to be and dependent on the results, more problems can present themselves later in life. These lasting effects can include: depression with suicidal tendencies, substance abuse, low self-esteem, relationship issues, & development of (at least one) psychiatric disorder.
The spectrum of possibilities is vast and there’s no predicting where an individual will land. The most important thing is to remember to provide love and support, and WINGS Foundation is there to help with this step.
Many times, if a survivor makes it to adulthood without any support or resources, they won’t seek out support on their own. If you are an adult survivor of child abuse, it is never too late to seek help and treatment. And if you know someone and they’ve opened up about their experience with abuse, give them support and enlighten them to resources at their disposal.
Child abuse is terrible regardless of specifics, but the effects on adults can manifest into a seemingly unmanageable monster. At times, these individuals have been attempting to cope with their situations for decades. Trying to rationalize and justify their feelings and deal with sensations of guilt or fear. Any psychological issues left unattended for too long will likely only get worse for the person. Finding support and treatment is always going to be the first step in achieving peace of mind.
Finding Your WINGS
WINGS Foundation provides resources for support and therapy for all victims and their loved ones. Unfortunately it is only one of a handful of organizations who prioritize treatment for adult victims of child abuse, yet they are doing incredible things to make life better for so many people. They train volunteers and allies, and assist members in finding the best form of treatment.
As stated on their website, “WINGS’ mission is to break the cycle and heal the wounds of childhood sexual abuse by providing education, advocacy and support to adult survivors, loved ones, providers and communities.” In addition, they hold events and collect donations to raise the funds required to be able to help any and every person who seeks help with them. They are trying to do more than just provide treatment and slap a band-aid on a survivor’s wounds. WINGS is educating others and changing the world we live in for the better. The more of us who help, the quicker they can achieve this goal.
If you or someone you know is a survivor of child abuse, go to wingsfound.org. If you are interested in donating, volunteering or becoming an ally, please do the same.
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