Child Abuse In Childhood Versus Adulthood

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Childhood Versus Adulthood Child abuse in the United States is heinously common. Over 600,000 American children are thought to be the victims of some form of neglect or maltreatment each year. While cases of their abuse are frequently the focus of large media attention, their stories often go unheeded as the years progress. By the time these child victims become survivors, many have been forgotten. Once they are away from the public eye, people do not seem to care much about them as adults. Often, people will make villains out of the victims, and attribute mistakes made as adults to their past abuse. Many believe that if a person was neglected as a child, then they can never become a productive and functioning adult. However, this is far …show more content…
A prime example of this would be Elizabeth Smart. At the age of 14, Smart was kidnapped from her home in Utah by Brian Mitchell. She was held at knifepoint and repeatedly threatened as she was taken to a remote location in a canyon. For nine long, excruciating months, Smart was starved and raped multiple times each day. When she was finally rescued, Smart was not the same girl as she once was. Despite this, she decided not to let what had happened to her stop her. She focused on getting into college, raising a family, and becoming a successful activist and journalist. In a recent article, she states, “I want to reach out to those survivors and those victims. I want them to know that these things do happen, but that doesn 't mean that we have to be defined by it for the rest of your life. You can move forward and you can be happy,” which sums up her personal attitude to her abuse (Duke). Even though she was the victim of abhorrent crimes, she did not let what happen in the past stop her. While she cannot forget what Mitchell did to her, she moved past it and grew tremendously. She does not let her abuse consume her; instead she uses it to motivate her. While people like Elizabeth Smart can continue forward and grow into productive adults, people like Mayella Ewell from the novel To Kill A Mockingbird cannot. In the …show more content…
They can get help if problems arise and not be deeply affected by them during adulthood. If they can manage to move past their abuse, they can use their past to inspire them and others. Hope is a key element for neglected children to have, additionally. Overall, they need to be more than their trauma. If Mayella Ewell were to do this, the novel To Kill A Mockingbird would likely be dissimilar to the version readers know and love. Because fear of further abuse from dad caused Mayella to cry rape, the entire court case with Tom would be nonexistent. If there was no trial, than Atticus would not have had to defend Tom and the lives of his children could have proceeded very differently. If Mayella Ewell got help for her abuse, moved forward from her past, and was more hopeful about the future, the book would not have been the same at

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