Myths and facts about child abuse

Here are some of the common myths about child abuse, and the facts to help you understand the reality of child abuse.

Myth: Children make up stories about abuse
Fact: A child rarely lies about abuse. A child may change what they've said if they've been pressured or threatened to deny what's happened, or they're afraid of being removed from their family after they’ve told someone about it.

Myth: Sometimes children are to blame for their abuse
A child is never to blame for abuse. Adults are responsible for their own behaviour and no matter how a child behaves, adults have no right to harm a child.

Myth: Children aren't affected by domestic violence if they don't see it happen
Fact: A child doesn't need to see domestic violence to know it's happening and be affected by it. A child sees how violence affects the person close to them.

Myth: If child abuse is reported to Child Safety, the child will be removed from their family
Fact: Sometimes parents need help to care for their child. If we're worried about a child's safety at home, we'll help parents get support to keep their child safe and well.

Myth: Child abuse only happens in poor families
Child abuse can happen in any family regardless of their wealth or education. People who harm children can come from any background, culture or religion, and have any kind of job.

Myth: Only young children are abused
Child abuse can happen to babies, children or teenagers. It may seem that teenagers should be able to fight back, but it's hard to stand up to an adult who is causing the abuse, especially a parent. Child abuse is often an abuse of power and trust. Cruel words or sexual or physical abuse hurts teenagers as much as it hurts a child.

Myth: Physical discipline is not child abuse
Children can be disciplined to behave in a more acceptable way. Physical discipline will become physical abuse if it causes harm or injury to a child. There are many ways to discipline children without using force.