When is punishment child abuse, and what should one do about it

superlover123 asks: Hi, I am facing child abuse. My mother beats me sometimes and I am left with bruises and scars. I sometimes feel like running away but I know that wouldn’t solve anything. Plus I tend to yell at people a lot without thinking first, but I’m afraid to ask for anger management classes because I don’t want people to think I’m crazy. Please help!

Hi superlover123 –


Thank you so much for your question about child abuse.


Okay, first things first.  No parent has the right to beat their child to the point of bruises and scars.  I don’t know where you live, but in a lot of places that’s completely illegal, and the police can come in and stop it.  If you’re not comfortable just walking up to a police officer, or if you’re not sure about the laws where you live, and you want to write me and tell me where you live (not your address, but the country or state is enough), I can find out who you can call to stop this if possible.  I’m very glad you wrote me about it, and I’ll gladly do whatever I can to help you out.


Now as to the anger management, well of course I think it’s your mother who needs an anger management class most urgently.  And if the police are called in, there’s a really good chance she’ll be required to take one.  But beyond that, being in one does not in any way mean that you’re “crazy.”  In fact, if you sign up for the class yourself, what that means is that you’re extremely sane, and taking enormous responsibility for your own behavior.  Especially for a kid, you’re showing incredible maturity.  It’s the people who fly into rages and don’t do anything about it who are the problem.  People like you who want to fix their problems are the best people in the world!


So again, please either notify someone about what’s going on, or write me so I can help you find the right person to call.  This abuse needs to stop.  But for now, what I want most is for you to have a way to keep yourself safe.  You’re right that running away probably wouldn’t help much.  But do you have a place you can go when your mother is raging like that?  Is there a neighbor or relative you trust, who you can go to, or can you just lock yourself in your bedroom or bathroom till she calms down?


Let me add to what I said above, for you and for the others who read this:  Kids misbehave, and they often wear their parents’ patience down.  I totally understand how parents can be driven to fury (after all, I’ve driven Handsome pretty nuts sometimes).  But there is NEVER any excuse for parents to beat a child to the point of scarring and bruising.  Never ever EVER.  If your mother or father is doing that, they need help in their parenting.  But your need is to get safe.


So if I can help at all, let me know.  And thank you, again, for being open enough to talk with me about this.  Who knows, maybe a few months from now, you and your mother will be taking anger management classes together, and becoming the best of friends.  Truly, I hope so.


With all my best wishes,



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Leave a Reply 4 comments

meet - November 17, 2011 Reply

Make your father aware that you are no more a child and see your self-respect ; never ever think to leave home because more dangerous animals are wating for girls out there.

    suba suba - March 25, 2020 Reply

    Thank you ever so for your blog. Much thanks again. Fantastic!

Mimosa - December 11, 2011 Reply

It’s imperative that more people make this exact point.

    Shirelle - December 11, 2011 Reply

    Thanks! Please pass it on!

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