Posts Tagged 'physical abuse'

Liars, Thieves, and Cheaters

I’m done with Josh Duggar.

But I’m not done with talking about how abusers affect their victims.

They are liars.  They lie about the fact that they molest children, hit children, yell and scream and threaten children. They lie about hitting women, raping women, threatening women, isolating women.  They lie about hitting men, raping men, threatening men, isolating men. They lie to their victims about how the abuse is not abuse, that it is okay, that it is their fault, that if they tell something very bad will happen.  They lie to the victim’s family and friends about how they are really a good person, about how safe the victim is with them, about how the victim started it, about what they are doing isn’t wrong because other people do the same thing, about how the victim brought it on themselves, about how they doing this because they love the victim and that it is in their best interest.

They are thieves.  They steal the victim’s innocence, stability, security, mental health, safety, trust, judgement, physical health, sexual health, self worth, dignity.  They steal their voice. And they throw their stolen goods away.

They are cheaters.  Many cheat the criminal justice system out of justice by never facing arrest, trial, conviction, and prison.  They all cheat their victims out of a life free of abuse.  They cheat their victims of healing and closure when they do not face the criminal justice system.  They cheat their victims out of telling their story and being believed by the lies they have spread and their appearance of being a “good” person who could not possibly done the things they did.

So abusers are liars, thieves, and cheaters. They are abusers.

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Quiverfull and Childhood

Part Three

Warning: I will be talking about various types of abuse in this post and have inserted photos where appropriate.  Be advised.

This post builds off the discussion from Part Two.  I mentioned previously that many girls are forced to raise their younger siblings because their mothers just don’t parent.  Or in the case of Michele Duggar, passes the responsibility of parenting to a daughter so that she can keep having babies.

Since Quiverfull is focused on babies and numbers, children as individuals with needs are in an odd phase.  They aren’t babies and they aren’t married adults.  These two phases are the only ones that matter in Quiverfull.  That’s where the priorities are focused. 

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Courtesy of Google Images

Children are then ignored until they get noticed.  The phase of childhood itself is ignored until someone notices a child acting (as in any sort of movement, not just bad or irresponsible behavior) or speaking.  The phase of childhood is considered a messy wasteland to be conquered by the parents rather than enjoyed as a season of human life. 

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Courtesy of Google Images

First, children are just numbers, not actual individuals with wants and needs and desires. They are soldiers in a battles against the secular world.

Two, children are considered property of their parents.  The parents have rights.  The children do not.  The children are merely objects to manipulate.

Three, children are seen as inherently sin filled and willingly disobedient.  Children are only capable of sin and incapable of virtue. 

Four, children must be homeschooled because any other sort of schooling is un-biblical, full of dangerous anti-Christian agendas, and a means of government interference.

Fifth, children rarely receive medical assistance in any form.due to paranoia about the government and beliefs that any healing is God’s will and can only happen if He desires it.

While there are more, these are a good starting place.

Point One: Children are individuals but not in Quiverfull.  Quiverfull is a movement that emphasizes numbers of people and not actual people.  Add in the distaste for childhood as a phase of life and things get a lot worse.

Points Two and Three go together.   When children are not seen as people, they have no rights or protections.  They are also open to great abuses, neglect, violence, and even homicide.  Since many parents come to believe that corporal punishment and spanking are acceptable means of forcing a child to comply with their demands, many children are physically abused in the name of love and God.  Many use verses out of the Book of Proverbs to justify their spanking.  They also read and endorse abusive parenting methods like Michael Pearl’s To Train Up A Child (which compares training children to training animals and to start spanking at three months), James Dobson (again comparing children to dogs), Rev Bradley, and Shepherd a Child’s Heart.

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Courtesy of Google Images

There is no biblical basis for beating the sin out of children so that they become God fearing adults.  But it is a belief espoused in Pearl’s and heavily hinted at in Gothard’s work (though I don’t know if he advocated corporal punishment). 

Pearl advocated “first time obedience” and demands it of babies.  “First time obedience” is the expectation that when an adult tells a child to do something that child must obey immediately.  Any hesitation, finishing a task already started, or asking for directions on how to do that something is seen as disobedience and must be punished immediately. 

For example: a thirteen month old baby is sitting on the floor, playing with a toy.  He puts the toy in his mouth (babies like to put things in their mouth; this is normal).  The mother sees this and tells the baby to take the toy out of his mouth.  The baby keeps the toy in his mouth because he doesn’t really understand what his mother is saying.  However, Pearl says the child is actively choosing to be disobedient and therefore needs to be spanked right this minute.

But first time obedience is expected of all children.  And being disobedient or even “rebellious” (a vague term that parents use to justify any spanking or to justify their anger and their desire to hit a child). Spanking then becomes the default method of parenting instead of teaching the child why let alone understanding child development in any way.

Children in Quiverfull face lots of violence, abuse, neglect, and are forced to behave in developmentally inappropriate ways. 

Teenage girls are expected to parent their younger siblings. 

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Courtesy of Google Images

Many children face the threat of corporal punishment which I’ve expanded to include not just spanking but any use of hitting as punishment which includes slapping, punching, using some type of implement. 

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Courtesy of Google Images

Many children are verbally abused through threats of corporal punishment regardless if those threats are carried out, through name calling, through insults, and through intimidation. 

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Courtesy of Google Images

Children are sexually abused not just through molestation and rape but also abused through body shaming, purity culture, and dress codes. 

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Courtesy of Google Images

Children are psychologically abused when parents threaten them, manipulate situations so that a child fails expectations,  play mind games, and through gaslighting.

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Children are spiritually abused because they are raised to follow an extreme belief system, are threatened with an angry, vengeful God that is out to get them and can’t wait to see them fail, and through the use of illegal and immoral tactics that are justified by the use of scripture verses.

Children are educationally neglected through the use of homeschooling.  Many parents use homeschooling as a means of isolating their children from others so that the parents not only do not have to teach their children a standard education but so that many parents can abuse their children and not have others know about the abuse.  Many children who receive a homeschooling education are usually very deficient in many subject.  Some children are not allowed to finish or even graduate high school.  This is especially true for girls.

Children in Quiverfull are medically neglected.  Many children are born at home.  If there is a midwife involved, she may be unlicensed. Licensing and training depends on state statute so many midwives are trained and licensed.  But there are those midwives and other medical practitioners who choose to operate outside the medical establishment. And with a heavy distrust of the government, many followers of Quiverfull will actively seek out medical assistance that is not regulated by any government agency.   Vaccines are seen as government intrusion so many parents refuse to vaccinate their children.  Or beliefs false information about vaccines.  Many children rarely see a doctor. Reasons include: lack of parental finances; government intrusion; doctors are typically mandatory reporters of abuse (depends on state law); belief that sickness is merely uncompressed sin and so the child needs to repent and get right with God; the belief that any sickness can be cured by prayer.

Children raised in Quiverfull suffer the most and are given the least amount of help and support.  They may live in an unhealthy home due to abuse, neglect, inadequate shelter, inadequate food, inadequate clothing, and inadequate resources and support. 
These children are victims.  They spend many of their adult years healing from the abuse they suffered, correcting their education deficits, and shedding false and dangerous beliefs and behaviors.

Quiverfull is Dangerous

Quiverfull is a fringe procreation movement with its name coming from Psalm 127:3-5 which states “Certainly, sons are a gift.from the LORD, the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man who has filled his quiver with them.” 

Adherents believe that families should have as many children as possible.  There is no concern for a mother’s health, for a family’s finances or needs, and is seen as a reaction to secular culture.  Children born into this movement are seen as soldiers fighting against a corrupt United States (it is a very American centric movement as are many of the other movements/beliefs tied with it) that can be brought back to Christianity (usually a very narrow, fundamentalist Protestant version) through high numbers of births and raising these children in this belief system.

It is a movement that is touted as pro-life when in reality it very antithetical to life.  Babies are seen as commodities instead of people, as individuals.  Women are to have children at all costs, even at the cost of their own life.  Women are expected to have a baby just about every year.  The parents act selfishly in having babies to fulfill what is considered godly belief and behavior.

These women are also expected to homeschool these children.  Girls are raised to follow in their mothers footsteps by getting married and having large families.  This all justified as being godly and biblical.

Many children are born into families that are headed by parents where at least one parent has a college education which is surprising considering that children born into this belief system are forbidden from going to college. Though there are also families headed by parents that only have a high school education, if that.  Many of the children in this movement barely receive a high school education, if that. Most of the children in this movement are homeschooled, usually by parents who lack the ability to teach academically.

The father is the only employed member of the family since it is considered sinful and against God’s will for women to work and/or work outside the home.  Women are only allowed to be wives and mothers.  Education for girls (beyond the minimum, usually high school) is discouraged and early marriage after “courtship” is encouraged. 

Most of these families have little income so will at times suffer from a lack of necessities such as food, proper clothing, housing, education (even with homeschooling), health care, and dental hygiene.  Many suffer all these things almost constantly during childhood. 

Corporal punishment is also heavily pushed so many also suffer from abuse.  Not just physical but emotional, mental, financial, spiritual, and even sexual abuse.  Verses from Proverbs and books by the likes of Michael Pearl, Reb Bradley, Bill Gothard are used to support spanking and child abuse and prove that this “Biblical.”

Anything that may be seen as government interference or intrusion is considered evil and refused or looked at with suspicion.    Such groups such as Child Protective Services are warned against and followers are told that they will take away your children because you homeschool (which is patently wrong and illegal).  Fear is a common tool to coerce and force compliance of behavior of children and even adults.

Quiverfull is also dangerous to men.  They are expected to get married at a young age so that they can father many children, typically are the ones to carry our corporal punishment, expected to rule the home as a leader which ends up being a dictator or tyrant, and determine who their daughter(s) may marry.  They also discouraged from going to college (too worldly) and so have to find work with a high school diploma. 

More information just Google “Quiverfull Movement.”  The Wikipedia entry is especially helpful. 

The blog No Longer Quivering (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering) has stories from those who were in the movement. It also provides useful information and support.

Homeschoolers Anonymous (http://homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com) also has stories from the children raised in this movement because homeschooling is tied up with Quiverfull.

I also suggest Recovering Grace (http://www.recoveringgrace.org) which deals with Bill Gothard and his promotion of Quiverfull, plus his homeschooling curriculum, spiritual and sexual abuse.

In Regards to Why We Hit Our Kids

Apparently the post on “Why we hit our kids” was popular. It was also, apparently, an invitation for some less than stellar elements to come out of the woodwork, so to speak. Due to the type of comments I received on that post and the nature of several of them, I will not be approving comments on that post. I will be deleting them. However, I will deal with several themes that pop up in those comments.

Response #1: I was spanked and I turned out okay.

My response: I’m going to quote Elizabeth Esther on her blog in response:
“Even so, in defending spanking we often hear people say: “I was spanked as a kid and I turned out alright.” Um…no, no you didn’t. By defending spanking, you have turned out to be someone who perpetuates violence against children.” (Source)

I agree with Elizabeth.  You have become an advocate of violence.  I also want to point out that you have repressed what spanking really felt like and what it did to you.  I should know.  I definitely stuffed down the anger I felt at my parents for hitting me. I was angry but I couldn’t articulate that anger and I definitely couldn’t show that anger.  My mother was going to spank and disciplining me was the least of her reasons to do so.  I also had to stuff down those feels of anger and betrayal because I didn’t know how to live without my parents.  My parents were all I had.  Spanking was the norm and as a child, I had to put up with it, allow it so that I had a roof over my head, food to eat, the ability to go to school.

Response #2: Spanking was the only form of discipline I listened to.

My response: I didn’t learn to associate the pain of a spanking with not doing a specific behavior.  All I learned is that it was okay to hurt a child as long as you had an excuse.  So spanking wasn’t the deal breaker many make it out to be.  Plus, there is countless evidence that spanking is NEVER effective in changing behavior.  Spanking actually damages the brain.  Many studies point this out.  Again, many people lie to themselves because they cannot acknowledge that their parents actually hurt them.  I suggest reading Leaving Home: The Art of Separating From Your Difficult Family by David. P. Celani to understand this divorce in the brain.

Response #3: Spanking is Biblical.

My Response:  Actually, it isn’t.  The idea that “spare the rod, spoil the child” comes from a poem called Hudibras by Samuel Butler and involved Sir Hudibras making a lewd comment to a woman who promised to get him out of jail (Source).  And the verses that do reference the rod in Proverbs is not the rod that most make it out to be and applies to nearly full grown men, not children.  See Samuel Martin’s book Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me to see a full, Biblical explanation of those verses.

Also, several deaths have been associated with the Pearls’  teaching.  Too many “Christian” parenting books advocate spanking and first tine obedience when that doesn’t work.  Even James Dobson of Focus on the Family compares child rearing to cruelly beating a dog.

Hopefully, this will cover the major comments I saw.  I won’t answer the really rude ones.

 

Why Do We Punish Ourselves? | Psychology Today

http://m.psychologytoday.com/em/155167

From earlier this summer, this article looks at a few possible reasons we may punish ourselves and punish more harshly in some cases. 

What would be really helpful would be to look at those who self punish as adults after being physically punished as,children and if the level/severity goes up.  That is, if you were punished as a children, largely through the use of spanking which occurred at least twice a week if not more spankings and those spanking were for different “offense” levels, i.e. spanked for not finishing homework versus say being spanked for disobedience where you took too long to do something such as not putting clothes away in ten minutes when it took you fifteen even though you put the clothes away and they were put away correctly or being spanked for running out into the street with oncoming traffic. 

To me, kids would learn to expect punishment for every failure and not having learned to manage failure and mistakes, choose to punish themselves instead.  Punishment could include self inflicted pain, self beating, negative self talk, withholding food and/or drink from yourself, withholding other items such as not allowing yourself to wear a favorite shirt or outfit, surrounding yourself with people who hurt you physically/mentally/emotionally/etc., talking yourself into staying in an abusive situation because you think you deserve that abusive treatment. 

There are certainly more and I honestly think, knowing my own experiences and things I’ve done to myself, that self punishment becomes a habit because I believe I deserve to be treated like garbage.  I think corporal punishment/spanking/abuse writes people’s brains to accept punishment and abuse and not mercy and love.

A Letter Myself

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Dear Me,

It’s okay to feel bad.  To hate that you were spanked.  To hate that you were abused.  To cry.

It’s okay to say hitting a child is wrong.  It’s okay to say spanking is indeed hitting.  It’s okay to say that children have rights.

It’s okay to mourn the child you didn’t get to be.  It’s okay to mourn the mother you wanted but didn’t have.  It’s okay to mourn the father you wanted but didn’t have.  It’s okay to mourn the family you wished loved you instead of hated you or at least ignored you.

It’s okay that you aren’t perfect.  It’s okay that you struggle with your faith.  It’s okay that you actually accept Church teaching instead of rejecting it for your own interpretation.

It’s okay to be alone.  It’s okay not to like people.  It’s okay if you don’t like a certain friend and no longer want to hang out with that person. 

You are not stupid.  You are not ugly.  You don’t deserve hate.  You can be loved.  You are not worthless.  You are not useless. 

It’s not your fault people chose to hurt you.  It’s not your fault you were abused.  It’s not your fault people still treat you badly.  It’s not your fault other people mess up their lives.  It’s not your fault your mother raged at you and belittled you and insulted you.  It’s not your fault your mother played favorites.  It’s not your fault certain individuals chose to sin.

You are not a failure.  Your mother is a liar.  Your friend is liar.  You are not a liar.  God is not a liar.

You’re being an introvert is a good thing.  Being a book need is a good thing.  Being responsible is a good thing.  Being cautious and safe are good things.

It’s okay to have a bad day.  It’s okay to feel.  It’s okay not to want to be super excited or an extrovert or happy.  You are an introvert who feels the whole range of emotions deeply.  No one controls your feelings or what you feel but you.

You are you and no one else.  Everyone else can take a long hike off a short pier.

ME

I love you, therefore I hit you…er, SPANK you. {How Christians conflate love with violence} | Elizabeth Esther

A reblog from Elizabeth Esther.

I think the post speaks for itself.

http://www.elizabethesther.com/2014/09/i-love-you-therefore-i-hit-you-er-spank-you-how-christians-conflate-love-with-violence.html


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