Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Profile of Alice Miller

Alice Miller (january 12th 1923 - aprilth 14 2010), PhD in philosophy, psychology and sociology, as well as a researcher on childhood, is the author of 13 books, translated into thirty languages.
Out of 192 members of the United Nations, only 19 have so far forbidden corporal punishment of children.

About forums

I must let you know that all the forums that still function today under the name "ourchildhood" are no longer connected with my web site and are neither supported nor recommended by myself. AM - 8.16.09


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Child Mistreatment, Child Abuse

What is it?

Humiliations, spankings and beatings, slaps in the face, betrayal, sexual exploitation, derision, neglect, etc. are all forms of mistreatment, because they injure the integrity and dignity of a child, even if their consequences are not visible right away. However, as adults, most abused children will suffer, and let others suffer, from these injuries. This dynamic of violence can deform some victims into hangmen who take revenge even on whole nations and become willing executors to dictators as unutterably appalling as Hitler and other cruel leaders. Beaten children very early on assimilate the violence they endured, which they may glorify and apply later as parents, in believing that they deserved the punishment and were beaten out of love. They don't know that the only reason for the punishments they have ( or in retrospect, had) to endure is the fact that their parents themselves endured and learned violence without being able to question it. Later, the adults, once abused children, beat their own children and often feel grateful to their parents who mistreated them when they were small and defenseless.

This is why society's ignorance remains so immovable and parents continue to produce severe pain and destructivity - in all "good will", in every generation. Most people tolerate this blindly because the origins of human violence in childhood have been and are still being ignored worldwide. Almost all small children are smacked during the first three years of life when they begin to walk and to touch objects which may not be touched. This happens at exactly the time when the human brain builds up its structure and should thus learn kindness, truthfulness, and love but never, never cruelty and lies. Fortunately, there are many mistreated children who find "helping witnesses" and can feel loved by them.