Have you ever had the tar beaten out of you by your parents? Well Juliet did in Romeo and Juliet.
Other child abuse statistics from the "Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect" include that: children whose parents are unemployed have about two times the rate of child abuse and two to three times the rate of neglect than children with employed parents children in low socioeconomic families have more than three times the rate of child abuse and seven times the rate of neglect than other children living with their married biological parents places kids at the lowest risk for child abuse and neglect, while living with a single parent and a live-in partner increased the risk of abuse and neglect to more than eight times that of other children
Here are real life stories of children who were abused by their parents.
"My parents always tell me that I have to finish all my math homework or I won't be allowed to watch TV," said study participant and abuse victim "Derek," 10, who told researchers that some of his earliest memories were of this kind of mistreatment. "They're so mean. I hate them."
"I hate them, I hate them, I hate them," he added.
Encouraged to speak freely and confidentially about their home lives, subjects shocked even seasoned child welfare advocates with tales of systematic deprival and gratuitous cruelty. One Illinois boy told of being forced to linger with his mother in fabric stores and later leaving a Toys "R" Us empty-handed, even though the store sold a water gun he really wanted. An Arkansas 9-year-old said he spent all of third grade carrying a boring brown backpack instead of a super-cool Spider-Man one like a friend, whose parents love him, had. And a 6-year-old girl from Wisconsin was forced to sit at a dining room table for nearly two hours until she finished her canned green beans, a food widely considered by poll respondents to be disgusting and suitable only for adults.
"To hear the sadness in these kids' voices when they talk about how they are scared—literally scared—to bring home poor report cards, is heartbreaking," said Dr. Deirdre Fulton, child psychologist and director of the Nationwide Coalition to End Child Abuse, who co-authored the study. "Some of the children we interviewed even wished they were dead so their parents would feel guilty at their funerals."
"No child should ever wish to die," Fulton added.
According to pollsters, most victims were surprisingly open, even eager, to discuss their abuse, although some were less forthcoming about traumatic experiences that involved inappropriate touching.
"It's so embarrassing, and everybody sees it," said 7-year-old "Harry," whose mother hugs and kisses him goodbye in front of the school bus every day. "When it's happening, I close my eyes and wish it would stop, but it just goes on forever."
Other victims recounted similar forms of privacy invasion, such as being asked if they were wearing clean underwear, and being stripped naked and made to bathe, even after clearly stating that they did not need a bath.
Hair is another focus of unseemly pathological fixations, many children allege: Six out of 10 girls interviewed said that their mothers routinely and painfully pull, twist, and tug their hair into "stupid" hairstyles like pigtails, and some boys said that their mothers go so far as to use saliva to paste their hair into place.
According to the report, a shocking 100 percent of children who claimed to have been abused said their parents repeatedly answered "maybe" to a request, and then withheld from them a definitive answer for hours or, in some cases, days.
In addition to those who admitted to being touched inappropriately, 93 percent of children said they have, at one point or another, been subject to various types of physical abuse.
"My parents make me practice the piano for like 20 hours a day," said 8-year-old "Lacy,"