Child Abuse True Story Detailed by Autumn Murray
Child abuse is a serious problem that can have lasting impacts on victims. I am a victim of child abuse and am sharing my story to help others know that regardless of what happened in the past, we can all succeed in our present.
The small farming town I grew up in had a population of just over 3,000 people. I was one of the few minorities in the majority-white town. When I say few, I literally mean one of two minorities that lived in the small town. Over the years, we had a few exchange students in high school from other countries who would stay for a school year. However, I was the only biracial child (my father is black and my mother is white) that lived in town.
Adoptions do Not Guarantee a Fairytale Ending
A white family took me away from my birth mother when I was around four years old. The family babysat for me when my mother went to work during the day at a local factory.
My birth mother would drop me off unbathed and in dirty clothes, etc. One time, I had bite marks from a German Shepherd on my legs after my mother went out with her friends one night and left me locked in the bathroom with the dog as my babysitter until she returned.
After seeing signs of physical abuse on my body (burn marks from cigarettes, red marks across my face that eventually turned into a bruise in the shape of a handprint, etc) the family took legal action to adopt me and remove me from my birth mother's home.
The adoption was finalized by the time I turned six years old. Many years later, my mother by adoption told me that one of the reasons why they wanted to adopt me (other than to remove me from an abusive home) was that they didn’t think I would be adopted by another family.
They didn't think a biracial child would have a high chance of being adopted by another white family. No black families lived near or around my small town.
Additionally, they didn’t want me to grow up in an orphanage like my adopted father had when his mother passed away and his father was unable to care for him and his siblings.
Waiting on Daddy Warbucks
Seriously, I was a cute kid if I do say so myself. Any loving family would have been lucky to have me as their adopted child.
In my childhood, I had dreams of being snatched up in a heartbeat by “Daddy” Warbucks in the musical “Annie.” A rich and kind gentleman wanting to be a father to improve his public image would pick me out of all the children in the orphanage. He would be so completely taken by my charm and personality that he would love and take care of me as his own.
Unfortunately, my dreams didn't come true and I was adopted by the white family and had to endure years of sexual, physical, and verbal abuse.
My First Experience with Racism
Kids are not born with hate in their hearts. They are taught hate from their parents, relatives, and/or friends.
Sadly, I will never forget when I was in 1st grade and a mother brought her son for his first day of class at our school. The teacher welcomed him to the class and asked the class to greet him as well. Afterward, the teacher assigned him the seat next to me in class.
The mother's facial expression as she looked on in horror as her son approached the seat next to me is one that I will never forget. She immediately asked the teacher to move him to another seat. The teacher honored the mother's request and moved him to another seat within our classroom.
This incident was the first time I ever felt humiliated even though I didn't know what the word meant at the time. I didn't know that she didn't want him seated next to me because of the color of my skin, I just knew and felt that she didn't want him seated next to me.
Kids are Taught Hate
The mother's hatred for me being black didn’t stop a friendship from developing between the new boy in class and me. Our close friendship lasted through high school and until I moved away from my hometown to attend college in Atlanta.
Throughout the years of our childhood, I wasn't invited to his house for parties or play dates. But, that's okay. I knew the mindset of his parents (or at least his mother) and loved him anyway and he always treated me kindly and with respect.
What is Child Abuse?
There are several types of child abuse. Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver, whether through action or failure to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm, or risk of serious harm to a child. There are many forms of child maltreatment, including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, and emotional abuse.
If you see signs of a child being abused or neglected, please contact authorities so that the child can get help.
For more information, to seek help, or find out how to help abused children in the United States click here: Childhelp or call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453.
We hoped you enjoyed Simply Amazing Living's “Autumn Murray Shares a Personal Story of Child Abuse” post.
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