HUSH, child abuse

Two little girls, seven and nine
their own father authorities did find
bedded them twice weekly,
their mother wont mind?

Boy fifteen shot himself.
Sister fourteen slashed up her arms.
Seven year old brother cried with real qualms
“I don’t want to grow up, I’ll have to kill myself!”

A thirteen year old her baby authorities find
born from her father, her mother unkind.
Court gave him six months on a holiday farm
Came back to claim her child and cause more harm!

Adoptive father had used the handsome young lad
now he’s a porn star with many a fan.
No chance to explore ‘sexuality’ in his own way
Very rich family had total say …

A young runaway, hurt and confused
her father had sexually abused
both parents made a big fuss
media, officials who could she trust?

A young psychopath by the corner store lurked
neighbouring households all warned
still disbelieving parents shirked.
More children violated and scorned.

Thirteen year old, pretty and neat
with a steel-buckled belt her father did beat.
Cops were his mates
so that sealed her harsh fate.

Dad was a sailor
acted like the three year olds gaoler.
No games, no mess,
always rigid to be his absolute best.

Mother very slow of mind,
eight year old daughter sharp and kind
Mother’s boyfriends abused daughter,
she like a lamb to the slaughter.

What happens in families is cruel and sad,
for happy childhood’s be ever so glad.

Anger and hate harms only us.
Forgiveness the remedy for our inner cuss!

How do we break such a sick cycle,
Keep precious ones safe?
Blow the whole secret loud and wide
Hold offenders responsible, don’t let it slide!

Creative Commons: Violence



  1. How do we break the cycle? I broke the cycle when I finally opened up about what my grandfather did to me. It was 25 years after the fact and he was already dead when I finally said something, but better late than never.

    In the almost four years since I opened up about that abuse, I stopped abusing myself with alcohol; I ended a relationship with a man who was physically and verbally abusive; I lost a little over a hundred lbs and have kept 80 lbs off; I GOT SOBER and I’m still sober; I’m in therapy, dealing with my issues in a healthy manner.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, way to go Cara – how courageous! You broke the silence, escaped another abuser, gave up your addictive self-destruction and are in counselling. That’s really taking control, well done and thanks heaps for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. very good poem Kate and sadly true. The worst thing about child sexual abuse is that it happens in the family and is more often than not facilitated by the mother and thus almost impossible to detect.
    Also many children are subjected to abuse before they have formed a coherent language and even if they could talk, whom would they confide in? How efficient are social services? How safe are foster homes or orphanages?
    There is a window for sexual abuse (3-6 years) and often abusers (mainly dad/uncle/grandfather) stop when it becomes too risky. These children might still remember their childhood fondly because the trauma is buried in order to survive. That begs the question how to deal with something you don’t even remember happened? There are the effects, like low self-worth, self-harm, self-destructive or addictive behaviour, drug-abuse, becoming a victim or a perpetrator of violence. Others might be able to function ‘normally’ and gain status in society but abusing their children or allowing them to be abused as they have been.
    There are no easy answers and even a report of suspected abuse doesn’t mean that the child will be safe.
    I think our world is populated with survivors of abuse of any shape or form and only a few manage to break the cycle, and as long as it happens in families and parents have absolute power and authority over their children, it will continue. Sorry to be bleak but I’m speaking from personal experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True Dagmar, sorry for what you endured but it has made a very strong person out of you!
      I found the abuse often continued well into adulthood, never heard of them stopping at such a young age but then I did rural and remote work. Hence any straying happened within the family because those small communities would know of ‘affairs’ and parents have the ultimate control over their offspring.
      If we blow the secrecy or taboo around the subject then more survivors will realise they are not the only ones! And to seek professional help before their addictions kill them … only ever met one sex worker and no addicts who were NOT abused in their childhood … they were not given any choices.

      Liked by 2 people

      • very true, I’m so glad that there are people like you out there who give support and hope and encouragement and help victims find a sense of purpose and self-worth despite of their trauma and suffering.
        I get mad just hearing a mother/father shout at their little ones for no reason at all. Verbal abuse is just as damaging and often goes hand in hand with other forms of bullying and abuse. I guess I was still lucky not to end up on the street or worse.
        wishing you a lovely week!

        Liked by 1 person

        • You know I don’t just talk about it … I have actually put my life at risk several times when I’ve seen physical abuse in public and when I see parents losing it I actually go up and engage the kids to diffuse the situation. Have been lucky so far – one guy I used to play with his kids out the front of the supermarket so he could fetch his groceries unhindered and unprovoked – staff should have given me a freeby.

          Liked by 1 person

    • George I am not one but I doubt any would like pity. Most just need to be heard and supported because they are very strong people just to have survived! They are victors, not victims.
      But maybe one of them can reply to you?


  3. My goodness Cate, you must have worked around the clock to add calm to your name. You have seen it all, atrocious behavior from adult men and women destroying childrens lives. As I read your verse I just felt more nauseas with every word. As you know I suffer with anxiety and panic attacks, my ill health the main trigger but I find other issues can trigger it also, for me nausea hits first so I just wanted to explain how and why it made me feel this way. I have a niece who also works with child abuse victims, I only ever see her outside work hours and she is always happy, laughing, a brilliant Mum and Nan, she is always calm and I love and admire her so much. Like you I know she works tirelessly to bring these children to safer, better places but she has only ever spoken to me once about a case or situation she experienced. It was a family of sexually abused brothers, 4 of them, from boys to men she went the journey with them. Finally all 4 seemed ok, all working, 3 married, children of their own. Only 2 are alive today, for the other 2 brothers committed suicide. They like the boy in your poem, didn’t want to grow up because they knew what they would have to do. Again like you Cate, my niece remains calm no matter the situation, she also opposes violence vehemently, she like you acts quickly to diffuse anger. You Cate and my budiful niece are, I want to say angels but my niece wouldn’t see it that way I don’t think, ( if you are ok with it then you are an angel). Just as you are both all that is special, integral, providing clarity, amazingly caring, incredibly calm, a true diamond in many many childrens broken lives. I just want to say I admire you CalmCate for all the great work you have done to guide these children to a safer better place in life.
    Your 12 thoughts on “Hush, Child Abuse” were profound
    The 12th thought, could it be the solution
    How and why are these people protected?
    A long winded comment from me Cate, I just needed to share my thoughts
    Hugs from ( just down the road )
    Annie in Australia 🌞 🌴 🌊

    Liked by 1 person

    • No I also would disagree with the angel label … if we were angels we could heal the harm and stop the abuse in it’s tracks .. so we are a long way from being angels! I could tell you too many sad stories of those who suicide as a result of their abuse. I thought it would be impossible to shock me after years of this work but then I worked with war veterans and the public really don’t want to know what happens in conflict zones … that’s why my poem on war “WOE” resonated with so many in last years centennial exhibition. I just try to tell their stories as objectively as i can because people need to know what we set these people up for and how much they suffer as a consequence.
      Abusers are protected purely and simply because legislation is made by and enforced [or not enforced] by white MEN who protect each other … often because they also like to indulge in rough stuff also. And until MEN stand up and say this behaviour is NOT acceptable, until society stops blaming the victims then violence will continue to be perpetuated … our choice!
      Here’s a new link from today’s news on the same topic

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cate I get so upset when I watch the news and see our young men and women in conflict zones, I cuss and swear at our politicians for putting them there, I get overwhelmed with anger that we even have to have military at all, I always say these wars are among men, but in fact they are like little boys with toys, only now their tank engines really kill, their guns and bombs are real, but they themselves just don’t grow up. I will seek and read your poem WOE. Its a shame we can’t name and shame these horrible White men you speak about. Why is gay marriage ( which should just be legal without all the hoo ha), why is it higher on the election agenda than Child abuse and Domestic violence. I will never get it, I think the only pre requisite for the PM job is THE GIFT OF THE GAB, he gets paid to do and say as he is told. By whom? Powerful men who own newspapers and powerful men with trillions of dollars. All lining their own pockets!
        I read the link, we need to make it ok for Children to tell someone what is happening to them, can it become a part of education in schools,let them know it is ok to tell, you won’t be punished, you will be cared for and this won’t happen to you again. If they are educated to know that although the perpetrator will tell you bad things will happen if you tell, this IS NOT going to be the case, you will be taken care of and be safe.
        The same for women and violence, rape, society needs to make it ok to name and shame and blame the attackers then put them away. Keep locking them away until they stop or else they just stay locked away. Kids will learn that this is where violence leads you, behind bars. The laws must be enforced on the attacker, everyone needs to see it and the cycle may be broken. It needs to all happen now, our politicians need to put it high on the election agenda..women and children need to feel safe, they are not punching bags, they are not on this earth to be abused by BAD PEOPLE, LOCK THE BAD PEOPLE AWAY UNTIL THEY LEARN TO BE GOOD OR ELSE STAY LOCKED UP LIKE THE ANIMALS THEY CHOOSE TO BE.
        I feel as invested in these issues as you Cate, it is just who will and how and when will they enforce change.
        Who has the answers Cate

        Liked by 1 person

        • wow Annie you are heated up! You’ve covered a lot in this post so I will try to break it down and offer my opinion for what it’s worth.

          1. War – I will undertake to post my “WOE” poem on this blog sometime – it’s creative commons copyright like most of my work – meaning it can be copied and used ONLY with reference to me as the source and if used for publishing or profit then my permission must be sought first.

          War is ONLY about Profit, nothing more and nothing less. Please search what each nation makes and spends on military to get a clearer picture? Gun runners, suppliers of mass destruction, are the only winners in wars. Please note that once there is an announcement to pull out of one country the propaganda starts about the ‘bad’ behaviour of another nation to justify more military spending and another invasion! Those that perpetuate wars/violence/death ensure that their offspring will never be in harms way eg never serve in the military! Most military are ‘cannon fodder’, disposables – they are indoctrinated that they are ‘saving’ their nation but … who takes REAL responsibility for their long term damage on their return?

          2. Child Protection – when concerned professionals finally get legislative changes made to enhance the victims ‘legal’ process – it is my opinion that we do NOT have a JUSTICE system! Then politicians neglect to allocate the funds to enforce that change eg record initial interview. Children have to repeat their traumatic experiences in fine detail at least 23 times to get to the court process – I refused to take children to court because that process was just as, if not more, traumatic than their abuse! And the outcomes were outrageous eg 8yo put on probation to not allow her father to enter her bedroom. It’s a Children’s court not an adult court. So I could never promise a child that their disclosure would ensure their safety because it’s simply NOT true. Family reject and belittle them because they can’t/wont believe it, etc.

          3. Goal does NOT resolve their issues either eg it costs us taxpayers nearly $300 per day to keep anyone locked up! They mix with more nasty types and people come out with improved techniques and contacts to avoid detection next time … it is a breeding ground for Trouble!

          Solutions – please check with your niece but education, respect for women, MEN to say that this behaviour is not acceptable … it needs to be a concentrated community effort with MEN with power taking the lead! But your idea of naming and shaming is a great one and social media gives us that power!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Where is the justice as you say Cate, the solution is to stay vocal, as you suggest we need to make more noise. Too many holes in the legal system, because we are lead by Men running this country, we have to make them listen. If we had a Justice System and better law enforcement for Child protection and Domestic violence, then we could encourage kids, people to come forward and seek help, by ensuring them they will have carers and child welfare that can guide them safely and gently through the process. Then the perpetrators will be the guilty ones and face their judgement day.
            How do we make a Malcolm Turnbull for instance, listen, care, MAKE THE CHANGES, ENFORCE THE LAW, PUNISH THE PERPETRATORS.
            Cate I will remain invested in solutions any way I can, any opportunity I get to name and shame I will
            You are an amazing person, thankyou for listening and caring
            Hugs from Annie down the road xx


  4. Wow. Heart felt and powerful. Unfortunately, every word true and destructive to the innocent children being affected. Thanks for sharing this and bringing more attention to abuse. We have to speak out to break the cycle. It is the only way! God bless you!!!


  5. It’s a painful poem to read and so it should be. Bravo Kate. This is an evil that should be shouted about until the whole world listens and takes action. It happens every day in every town. It’s so common that it could almost be called normal behaviour if it wasn’t such a cruel heartless disgusting destructive filthy perversion. Reading and writing about it makes the blood pound in my ears, but I’ll continue to do so periodically because a bit of rage is nothing compared to what children suffer every day, often at the hands of those who should nurture and protect them. I was in my teens when over that period of fifteen months or so when I was being habitually raped and beaten, so it wasn’t that bad, in hindsight, and it wasn’t at the hands of a family member. though it took a long time to recover. How does a child survive such horror when they have no one to turn to and nowhere to run?


    • exactly Jane that used to be my job “child protection” what a farce, no resources or support for victims or staff … poetry became my catharsis but I have to be very careful that nobody can be identified because they are very True stories 😦

      Posted one story in prose form when I first started blogging, readers told me to get more real because it was too far fetched to be believable .. I deleted it rather than tell them it was true .. people really have NO idea 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wanted the poem to be fiction, but knew it was all true. It’s obvious you worked in child protection – without years of experience you wouldn’t have been able to keep such control. Each story gives only the bare facts. You contain your emotions.
        I’m sorry you deleted the true story – every so often something which defies belief comes to light, and we know that there is so much more that is hidden. If stories like these were in people’s faces, they may be more prone to pay attention and report it when they have cause to suspect a neighbour.
        Somebody important to me was badly abused as a child (not sexually). He’s the father of my grandson. He didn’t live to see him born. I think he’d be alive today if he’d been rescued as a child. After his death it came out that all the neighbours had known about the abuse. The abuser was notorious.

        Liked by 1 person

        • this is too often the case and often these monsters did threaten my life and it wasn’t idol threats, one had already taken 5 lives .. so people are sincerely fearful but I’ve risked my life many times to defend others and would again in a heart beat as I just cannot stand by knowing I didn’t act .. somehow I’ve been blessed with protection .. and many don’t realise that most of our drug users and sex workers come from that background .. they know now boundaries because of the abuse and so we should never judge 😦

          Liked by 1 person

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