After you talk to someone about what’s been going on, things at home might not get better right away. You’ll need some time to adjust, depending on what is decided about what’s best for you and who is involved in the process.

Try to take things one day at a time, and remember why you spoke out in the first place. Child neglect is a serious problem and the most frequent type of abuse.

Children who suffer from neglect most often also have attachment difficulties, cognitive deficits, emotional/ behavioural problems, and physical consequences as a result of neglect.

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Getting by

It’s always important to take care of yourself, especially when there’s a lot going on. Here are some ideas for caring for yourself:

Be your own cheerleader

Saying nice, positive things to yourself can help you feel more reassured and safe. It might help you to write these things down and keep them close to you so that you can read them when you feel discouraged.

Here are some examples:

  • “I’m not a bad person because I’ve been hurt.”
  • “I haven’t been hurt because I am bad.”
  • “It’s not my fault.”
  • “I don’t deserve to be abused.”
  • “Things will get better eventually.”

Make a list

Write down the positive things that came out of having asked for help. This list can help you remember why you spoke out and give you hope for a happier future.

Here are some examples:

  • I was living with abuse, and now I’m not
  • Being away from the abuse will help me build relationships that are free of abuse
  • Being away from the abuse will help me work on my self-esteem
  • Speaking out means that my life has more hope
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Keep busy

Making sure that you have lots to do will help keep your mind off what’s happening.

Here are some ideas:

  • Go to school. Avoid the temptation to skip class or drop out. Being in school will help you focus on the things you have to look forward to in life, like your favourite subjects or extra-curricular activities.
  • Get active. Whether you join a team or take up running, staying active will help you feel better.
  • Keep a journal. Keep track of what you feel from day to day, whether you’re angry, sad, confused, or happy. Try to not judge yourself for these feelings. Your emotions are yours and you don’t have to share them with anyone.
  • Hang out with friends. Call a friend, make plans, and go out with others. Hanging out with friends can help you feel happier and more supported, and spending time with people who care about you is really good for your self-esteem.

Build on your strengths

Everyone is good at something. What are you really good at? It could be art, singing, playing sports, writing, or reading. Take something that you love doing and try to be more disciplined about doing it more often. This will help you deal with your feelings about the abuse and build your self-esteem.

Talk to someone

If you’re struggling with your feelings right now, or if you just need to talk, you can always call Kids Help Phone to speak to a professional counsellor. You can also talk to someone else you trust, such as a relative, friend, coach, teacher, guidance counsellor, or anyone else you feel comfortable with.

Children who are victims of neglect have a more difficult time forming and maintaining relationships – such as romantic partnership or friendship – later in life due to the lack of attachment they had in their earlier stages of life.

Understanding the causes of abuse is crucial to addressing the problem of child abuse. You don’t have to try to handle this on your own, and you don’t have to feel lonely.