At least one case of child abuse per day has been reported in Cayman over the last ten months, according to figures shared by the Department of Children and Family Services and that includes sexual and physical abuse.
The DCFS says between January and October 2017 they received over 408 reported cases of child abuse and one psychotherapist is urging victims to continue speaking out about their abuse to help them heal and lead a better quality of life, Cayman 27’s Philipp Richter explains.
Sutton Burke says in her line of work as a psychotherapist, she deals with adult patients who are experiencing issues such as depression and substance issues which can stem from child abuse.
“They more likely to engage in risky behaviors, eating disorders, disassociated personality disorders, so many things that could happen from being abused as a child.” Said Mrs. Sutton Burke, Psychotherapist from Infinite Mind care.
She says victims often lock their experiences away and try to move on, but it is always better to speak out about it.
“Not being able to talk about it, if you were growing up and you felt like you had no one you could trust and you can’t share or when you do share, people don’t listen to you because people didn’t protect you in your life, then its likely to impact you later on in life,” said Mrs. Burke
Statistics related to the impact of child abuse here in Cayman were not available, but according to the Australian institute of family studies adults who experienced abuse or neglect has a child are 12 times more likely to commit suicide, 5 times more likely to develop an eating disorder, seven times more likely to be an alcoholic, five times more likely to use illicit drugs, 10 times more likely to have injected drugs, 26 more likely to be homeless, 2.5 times more likely develop mental illnesses like major depression and six times more likely to have PTSD and that’s in comparison to an adult who had not had the same experience.
Miss Burke encourages those experiencing abuse to get help and not keep the issues isolated.
“So it that happened to you, if the people around you and if this is going on right now and some of the people around you are not giving you the support, then absolutely don’t keep it in, go find someone to get the support,” said Mrs. Burke
She adds around 30% of adults who are abused continue the cycle of abuse, but the remaining 70% does not.
“Which shows that when they were younger they learned, no this is not okay, this is not how anybody should be treated versus the 30% of people who might have seen abuse, witnessed abuse, been abused themselves,” said Mrs. Burke.
In a few days’ time, millions around the world will commemorate World Day for the Prevention of Child abuse.
For more information on child abuse and resources available on Island please go to: