A Child Called It
A Child Called It-A Reflection According to the centre of disease control, child abuse refers to acts or sequence of acts of commission or omission by a parent or the Childs caregiver that cause harm or threaten to harm the child. The harm can either be physical, mental or in extreme cases child abuse result to the death of the child. In the definition above, acts of commission refers to words or explicit actions under this category we have cases of physical abuse, which represents physical injury to the child. Parents may severely discipline a child using an unacceptable way (cultureofabuse.com, 2010). Studies show that abusive parents are prone to mistake physical abuse for disciplinary actions. Psychological abuse or emotional abuse refers to acts such as constant humiliation of a child, name calling, threatening a child, silent treatment as punishment is also an example of emotional abuse. Sexual abuse is a form of child abuse with complication that the child ends up feeling guilty and shamed by these acts. Sexual abuse involves acts that expose a child to sexual situations. Acts of omission also known as child neglect refers to a parent’s failure in providing physical, emotional as well as educational needs that a child requires. Acts of omission also cover such harm as exposing a child to violent environment, failing to supervise the child (cultureofabuse.com, 2010).
In the memoir "a child called it" we catch insights on Dave’s struggle to survive child abuse. Dave Pelzer faces extreme cases of child abuse under her mother’s care. In the story, we have an insight on physical abuse, emotional abuse as well as cases of neglect in which Pelzer struggles to overcome. According to Pelzer, his mother’s abuse was weird for at one time in his life his mother was a loving and caring woman. The story illustrates the transformation of the abuse cases into worse scenarios. In the story, we notice the rather extreme punishments that are subjected to Pelzer. The worst part about the story is the father who is aware of what his son is going through yet he sacrifices his sons’ welfare for the sake of peace with his wife, the abuser (Pelzer, 1995).
Survival is a significant theme in the novel. Dave survives the abuse because of his basic survival skills, his internal coping skills and his skills on countering his mother’s abuse. Dave Pelzer illustrates his determination to survive the abuses he faces by countering them with other survival tactics. For example, his mothers’ act of starving him was countered by his acts of stealing food, begging for food and eating out of trashcans. The child in the book also has internal coping skills such as the courage to face all the punishments presented to him by his mother. Dave has hope that his mother’s abuse will come to an end, and he will be happy as a member of the family. His father is also a sign of hope that gives Dave the strength to face the abuses his mother inflicts on him (Pelzer.1995).
Dave is aware of his situation, and he gathers up courage to face whatever situation he faces as long as he lives. This hope enables Dave to face every abuse such as starvation, verbal abuse, and psychological abuse. His act of praying signals his hope that God will rescue him from the abuse he faces. Dave has basic survival skills, at the tender age of 10 he already knew that he needed to squeeze out pus from his infected wound to avoid contracting a serious infection. Dave accepts his fate and chooses to face whatever his mother presents. At some point, Dave states that the beatings he faced did not hurt anymore. At a tender age, Dave knew in order to stay alive he had to survive. Determination, courage, and hope represent substantial weapons Dave utilised to survive the child abuse he faced (Pelzer, 1995).
Cultureofabuse.com. (2010). Child maltreatment: Definitions, from CDC. Retrieved from
Pelzer, D. (1995). A child called “It”: One child’s courage to survive. Omaha, Neb: Omaha