Beyond Punishment: Taking An Inside Look At Child Abuse

When I first saw this video yesterday it broke my heart. What I saw was not only in my eyes child abuse, but an angry man who probably not only beats his children like they were strangers on the street, but also probably abuses the women in his life. On top of that, what I saw was a culture where this type of physical abuse is not only excepted, but encouraged, hence the person video taping it and most likely the other people in the house who never intervened.

From my understandings, this father was “punishing” his thirteen-year-old daughter for being “rude”, “disrespectful” and talking to grown men. Obviously these are things that no parent would want from their child, but beating a child purposely with a belt on her face is not discipline. I can almost guarantee that this is not the first time that she has been beaten and yet her inappropriate, most likely defiant behavior hasn’t stopped.

Chances are that this parent has no real idea of how to be a parent or raise a child, if he did, there would have never been a need for him to discipline her physically because she would have been raised, taught, guided and disciplined more appropriately over the last thirteen years. If this father had any real ideal of how to raise a child in a loving way, he would have punished her in a way that wasn’t to hurt her necessarily, but to teach her right from wrong.

Most parents punish their children from a place of love. I didn’t see any love for this child during this beating. What I saw is a father who is psychologically disconnected in so many ways.

From a psychological point of view we have a young lady who is acting out for one reason or another and physical punishment isn’t going to stop that. She is acting out and only talking and trying to understand why she is acting out is going to stop that.

Secondly, we have a man in a wheelchair who probably already feels emasculated if not just outright angry at the world for whatever condition put him in a wheelchair and therefore is always a ticking time bomb. He may have been a mean and angry man before whatever put him in a wheelchair, but many people become more angry when they are injured, in pain or handicapped.

Read my article on physical punishment to understand some of the ways it can affect a child’s mental and emotional health. From my experience in working with children who have gotten punished like this, they rarely learn to stop the undesired behavior, but learn how to be more sneaky. The sad part is, a valuable lesson this girl may have learned from this is one many girls who grow up in abusive homes learn which is:

  1. If a man really loves me he will hit me to show it
  2. It’s okay if a man puts his hands on me, it’s all part of being in a relationship
  3. I need a man who knows how to “handle me” and put me back in my place when I step out of line

To most of us those three responses may seem trivial, but I’ve worked with enough abused girls and young girls who ended up in abusive relationships to learn that many of them came from abusive homes where either they themselves were abused or where they witnessed abuse in their homes. They grew up thinking that it was not only okay, but the norm. Some even felt like it was a vital part of being in love because that is what they grew up seeing and thinking love is: Mom and dad fight, but they love each other and I see that. OR, mom fights with her boyfriend and then they go make love afterwards.

One young lady in particular saw her dad not only beat her mom, but he also beat her. Every relationship she got into as a teen and young adult was an abusive one. She didn’t understand it, but she unconsciously would seek out abusive men. She had two kids, each from an abusive man and the last time I met with her in counseling, she was with yet another abusive man. She couldn’t break the cycle. Her young boy and young girl are going to grow up witnessing and maybe even experiencing abuse.

This father in the video, in an attempt to raise a virtuous young lady may be in fact creating a woman who will go through a lifetime of troubled and abusive relationships because of the abuse she receives from her father.

No doubt some people may look at this video and see nothing wrong with the way he is disciplining his daughter and believe that people should mind their own business, but I personally hope that child protective services sees this video and rescues this child while the law punishes this “man”.  I wrote this post not only because I am passionate about protecting children from abuse, but also in hopes of increasing the exposure of this video so that maybe someone will recognize the child and the father and contact child protective services in whatever city, state this took place in. It’s a new video so chances are something can be done relatively soon.

***Warning, the video may be hard for most people to watch.***

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