why does my child protect poeple that abuse him

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chandra asked 12 years ago

my child has said on several different occassions that he has been abused. he is 6 yaers old. however the minute he talks to his family he says he made a mistake. he shows a deep attachement towards his father. can a child love someone that abuses him or is this a sign that he lied.

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Best Answer
Insight Psychological Staff answered 12 years ago

Absolutely a child can love someone who has abused him. It seems counter-intuitive, but abuse most often happens within loving relationships. Abuse takes place at certain incidences, not all the time. In the times between the abusive incidents, a loving and committed relationship can still develop. For more information on this, you can google “The stockholm syndrome”.

I am curious about the type of abuse that your son is talking about. Is it sexual, emotional, verbal, or physical? You’re child’s safety is most important so it is imperative that you take him seriously and follow up with this. Your child needs to know that you support him. If your child is making it up (which is uncommon), that would indicate other issues/concerns so it is important to take him in to speak with someone regardless if you think he is lying or not.

It would be helpful for me to have the details on exactly what your son is saying when he says he has been abused. Is he giving specific details, or is he simply saying “this person abused me” without describing what happened. If this is the case, your next question would be “can you tell me what happened?” It’s important that you don’t ask leading questions such as “did he hit you?” (a leading question often has a “yes” or “no” for a response). A leading question can make a child believe that something took place when it really didn’t.

I’m curious about how these implications are affecting you. My understanding is that the abuse is coming from your son’s father? If this is the case, are you and his father still in a relationship with one another. To discover that one’s partner is abusing one’s child is a very detrimental thing, so I’m concerned about your own well-being and how you have been coping.

I would highly suggest booking an appointment with one of our counselors here at Insight Psychological (780-461-1717). Or you could also speak to someone at The Family Center (780-424-5580) or The Support Network (780-482-0198)

If you do have suspicions of abuse, it is important to contact children services 780-422-2001. They will complete a formal assessment.