Fear May Prevent Kids From Reporting Abuse

BEVERLY HILLS (CBS) — With the investigation of a LAUSD teacher ongoing, it’s hard to understand how so many kids could have been victimized for so long, but experts say part of the reason is fear.

“Their power was stripped away from them and they were sadistically hurt,” said child psychologist Doctor Fran Walfish.

School officials say Mark Berndt led students to believe it was a game.

“I don’t think any one of those children thought it was fun,” Dr. Walfish said.

Blindfolded with their mouths taped shut, some children were reportedly spoon fed Berndt’s bodily fluid.

Police believe the abuse happened for years, but as far as we know, not one student out of dozens said one thing about it.

“Children that age are very afraid to tell,” said Dr. Walfish, who added that no matter how the acts were initiated, in those types of situations, children can feel guilty or responsible.

“I suspect that he threatened that he would hurt their families,” she said.

Like in many cases involving lewd acts with children, Dr. Walfish believes the perpetrator more than likely experienced a similar incident as a child.

“Research shows that what was done to us is repeated,” Dr. Walfish said.

She said that it is important that victims acknowledge what happened.

“Encouraging and inviting these children to express their anger and rage at the violator,” she said.

Perhaps the key to prevention is emphasizing the importance of communication, she said.

“You need to tell your child, ‘speak up, don’t be afraid to be the only one to say stop,’” she said.

Experts also advise parents to tell their children to be assertive and trust their gut feeling, whenever they feel something is wrong.

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Comments

One Comment

  1. Christina39 says:

    This is sickening and I wonder why today’s children feel they can’t run to an adult. In my generation many many years ago, we would have run out the door to the nearest sane adult threat or no threat . I wonder what has changed in the mentality of today’s children. I wish they would take the stance my generation had and let the police and parents sort it out. Is there a distrust of police? Parents? I think my generaltion was iindoctrinated with a whiste blowng mentality I wish the children had it today.

  2. Tanya says:

    I agree with you Christina39… We were taught to tattle back in the day. haha I guess, nowadays people that do these things are more scary. Sick people.
    Article says: **“You need to tell your child, ‘speak up, don’t be afraid to be the only one to say stop,’” she said.
    Experts also advise parents to tell their children to be assertive and trust their gut feeling, whenever they feel something is wrong.**

    I have an idea to prevent teachers and people that kids trust getting away with this! I suggest that EVERY teacher (or even every PUBLIC place) MUST have a sign or poster {A HUGE ONE} printed in BOLD that says something to the effect of: “KIDS: Trust yourself! No one has the right to touch you or do anything to you if they are not supposed to! IT IS WRONG. Make sure to tell someone – even if you are scared and feel threatened. It will be ok. It is not your fault.”

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