Factors In Child Abuse

Abuse victims have what social scientists call potentiating factors (factors that increase the risk) and compensatory factors (factors that reduce the risk or reduce the harm of by abuse.) Understand well, that I lived this, but I had no vocabulary for it.

Potentiating factors that increase the risk of child abuse:
Poverty Substance Abuse
Domestic Abuse
Racial minority/person of color
Parental History of Abuse
Single Parent Home
Corporal Punishment
A High level of acceptable violence in society
Social Isolation
Poor parental mental health with or without mental illness
Parental mental illness

Compensatory factors that reduce the risk/harm of child abuse:
Disposition of the child
Communication skills (ability to process)
Economic resources
At least one caring adult
Presence of a protective, nurturing mother
Above average intelligence

Intergeneration transmission of abuse sits statistically at about 30%. While this number is high, it is actually surprising that the number is not higher. A confluence of compensatory and potentiating factors affect outcomes.

Here is what helped me as an abused child:
The kindness of strangers
Loving educators
Books, books, and more books
Food (I was hungry)
Several sponsored summer camps
A neighbor who took me to church
An elderly woman who took me in
A job that someone gave me

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