Child abuse in America and throughout the world continues to be a pandemic, in spite of a great wave of awareness being drawn to this issue, by various organizations.
While many laws have tightened in this area, the issue continues to be…well, an issue. According to statistics, 85% of children and youth under the age of eighteen, are sexually victimized or physically assaulted by someone they know – three in ten assaults are perpetrated by a family member, and six in ten victims of family violence, are assaulted by their parents.
These are indeed shocking numbers, and scary at the same time, because we all know that a parent who engages in any type of abuse during their child’s developing years will likely cause significant harm to their own child’s psychological wellbeing and long-term achievements in life. According to statistics children who are exposed to abuse or ineffective parenting, are nine times more likely to show behavioural problems.
Children often learn by example. The behaviour, values, and attitudes of parents and siblings have a strong influence on their future social skills needed later in life to be contributing members of society. A child who is raised in an environment where any form of abuse exits, will often believe that this type of behaviour is normal, and they engage in this style of adult relationships and parenting themselves as they mature into adults.
Of course there are those few who are able to overcome their past and break the terrible cycle. I had the honor to meet on line, one of the lucky ones who was able to break away.
Mr. Bernard Gilliam – who is the oldest of six siblings – was not only able to overcome his abuse at the hands of his stepfather and sometimes his own mother, but he decided to write a book about it, not because, as he states in his book, he believes he is better than anyone, but because he hopes to enlighten and encourage others to not be a victim, and to break the cycle of abuse and family dysfunction.
I am delighted to review this book not only because Mr. Gilliam used one of my articles published on Examiner.com, as reference, but because I believe it's very brave of anyone to admit such painful things to their own family, let alone go public with it, and for that I command Mr. Gilliam.
*It’s All About The Choices You Make* is a heartfelt account of abuse and family dysfunction; it’s about choices and consequences; it’s about a woman who mothered six children by three fathers and who made the ultimate mistake of staying in an abusive relationship and allowing the man in her life to abuse her children.
At the same time, the book is a light at the end of the tunnel. As stated by Mr. Gilliam, sometimes all it takes is luck, many other times is about the choices you make once you become an adult; he chose not to fall prey to his own past, but to become a responsible young man, and later, a responsible father.
I recommend this book to anyone who needs proof that life really is what you make it, and that you are free to change your mind and choose a different future for yourself than the future your parents chose for you.
“It's never too late to break the negative cycles in your life.” ~Bernard Gilliam~