Be the One to Protect a Child

“Unpredictable” Consequences of Abuse

Our New Year’s Resolution for all nannies is to Be the One to protect a child, any child. This year, nannies should be heroes for all children.

Due to the Penn State scandal we posted the predictable signs of abuse of a child. But, there can be a huge difference between expected rational behavior and the actual behavior of a victim of abuse.

Perhaps the most astonishing reaction of a victim of abuse is that the victim becomes an abuser. Whether corporal punishment, verbal abuse, or sexual inappropriateness, one victimized by such actions may commit the same action on others. Simply, abuse begets more abuse.

A scared, desperate child prays to God for God to stop the abuse. Nothing changes so the child experiences a loss in faith.

A victim of abuse may seek protection from harm by joining a gang. Or seek affection by becoming promiscuous. Or seek escape by using drugs. Or give in to shame by engaging in criminal activity.

Ending an abusive relationship is beneficial but does not necessarily stop the cycle of harm caused by abusive behavior. Usually, the emotional pain is more enduring than the physical pain.

Tomorrow: The Nanny’s Dilemma


  1. I'd like to clarify that the majority of abused children do not, in fact, grow up to be abusers themselves. Studies show that about 30% of them do grow up to perpetuate the cycle…that means 70% of them do not. It's true that studies on this are difficult to do, and it is very difficult to get accurate statistics for a variety of reasons. It still remains a false assertion that abuse is always or mostly perpetrated by someone who was abused as a child. Not all abused children lose their ability for faith, either. In fact, many are drawn even MORE towards their faith. This was very aptly described in the afterword of "A Child Called It," a memoir of horrific abuse. The author states that he is often asked how he can have faith because of his abuse…and his response is that he has faith BECAUSE of the abuse, because he survived. This is true for many, many survivors.

  2. These less known signs of abuse are very interesting and not often explored. Thanks for sharing these not so obvious signs. Just shows how deep the scars can go and why it's so so so important for us to protect every child even if we don't know them. How the Penn State employees behaved was outrageous.

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