A Child Called It

2179 Words Jul 18th, 2013 9 Pages
Introduction A Child Called “It” by author David Pelzer is an incredibly emotional and vivid story of the experiences of a young boy. About his own life, Pelzer describes how he endured unthinkable abuse at the hand of his own mother. He provides detailed accounts of the abuse and neglect as well as the emotions and pain he endured, his struggle to cope and survive, and how he eventually was freed from her and the hell he was living. A Child Called “It” is a disturbingly real example of how children are victimized through various forms of maltreatment.
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Child maltreatment is not a new problem it has been occurring probably since the beginning of time. It wasn’t until the last few decades that child victimization has been
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Possibly worst of all for Pelzer was the fact that the abuse and neglect he experienced also included psychological maltreatment. Psychological maltreatment is also known as emotional or mental abuse. It refers to “a repeated pattern of caregiver behavior or extreme incident(s) that conveys to the child that they are worthless, flawed, unloved, unwanted, endangered, or only of value in meeting another’s needs” (Burgess et al., 2013 p. 202). Pelzer’s mother did exactly that and utilized various forms of psychological maltreatment. She singled him out from the rest of the family, terrorized him, played mind games, had unreasonable expectations, ridiculed, belittled, and rejected him. She began by telling him he was a bad boy and eventually stopped calling him by his name and called him “the boy” and “it” (Pelzer, 1995). She isolated him physically and emotionally from the rest of the family and would not let the other children acknowledge his presence.
As children our world often revolves around our parents. This is because parents are our source of safety and security, of love and understanding, of nurturance and support. A child experiencing abuse develops strategies that become coping mechanisms. These coping mechanisms enable day-to-day functioning and help the child detach from the emotional and physical pain of events, especially when the abuse continues over a long

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