Unsafe at Home
I grew up in a house where the adults were angry all the time. All the time. And they weren’t shy about sharing their misery, unhappiness and anger with me and my sisters. We were told we were fat, ugly, stupid, lazy…if we got sick we were yelled at for costing our mother her time and attention and money. If we were unlucky enough to be home when my father came home from work, he took out all his frustration on our behinds.
One year, during summer, my father was painting our house. He was hot, and tired, and frustrated. When our eyes met I knew what that look meant. I took off running down the street. Of course what 12 year old can out run a 45 year old man who plays tennis? He beat me in front of all our neighbors. No one did a thing to stop him. No one helped me. One or two neighbors called my mother to say what they had witnessed. She curtly told them I deserved the beating. What I deserved was a safe place to grow up. My mistake was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The world is very different now. Child abuse is against the law. There are actually laws that specifically protect children. Please, please, please – if someone in your house, or neighborhood, or someone at school is touching you inappropriately, hitting you, hurting you, bullying you, TELL. Tell about the child abuse. Tell a trusted teacher or school counselor. Tell a trusted friend’s parent. Tell your family.
You were not put on earth to be made miserable – to be a child of abuse. There are people ready, willing and able to help you. Keep telling ‘till you find them. Tell.
Orange County California Child Abuse Hotline 714.940.1000
LA County California Child Abuse Hotline 800.540.4000
Riverside County California Child Abuse Hotline 800.442.4918
San Diego County California Child Abuse Hotline 858.560.2191
State of California
County Child Welfare Service Agency Emergency Response Telephone Numbers: