What Is Child Abuse? –Part Three

We now know the details of Naomi Judd’s suicide, resulting from chronic depression, but I wonder, also, if Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Chronic, could be included in her demise.

Ms. Judd endured sexual assaults as a teen, but less is stated about the sexual child abuse she incurred by a family member.

I also cannot help but consider this childhood abomination affecting her later life.


What Is Child Abuse? –Part 2

The Ramifications of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is often repressed, and if not, may submerge and return at different stages in life.

For example, some people seek services when their child reaches the age the abuse unfolded, and an episode of therapeutic work is necessary to quiet the storm erupting again.

Other people cannot compartmentalize or bury this horror, seeking services before any specific life event happens.

Years of therapy promote healing and recovery for many. However, scar tissue remains, and more work is required when something from a challenging past rears its ugly head. I cannot help but wonder if Ms. Judd’s earlier, torturous memories revisited her later in life. We will never know.

After centuries of denying children as children, and as of late, recognizing sexual abuse is a dangerous and detrimental taboo, we seem to forget both in the twenty-first century.

Front and center, children are sexualized, but in a clever, stealth way under the guise of preparing children for the delights of what’s ahead.


Hollywood adds poison to this contagious toxicity.

We know about child actors used and abused at the hands of nefarious, powerful people in the entertainment industry.

Many have written memoirs about their torturous paths to stardom, describing the ways they coped. For some, numbing themselves with alcohol and drugs appeared the only way to ward off the depths of despair enveloping them.

Little did we know, these enchanting cherubs, beaming at the camera, were undergoing or performing sexual activities against their wills, helpless to the whims of disguised pedophiles.

Yes, evil can lurk beneath a lovely surface.

Some children are portrayed seductively in certain programs, giving protective adults pause.

I did not view a specific one on Netflix, but from everything I read, people expressed outrage about this depiction.

What may have been considered child abuse at one time is given a pass or provided excuses.

The Internet

Although the Internet remains the greatest purveyor of information and communication invention since the printing press, a dark side prevails.

Human beings have not changed in thousands of years without rules and laws, promoting civilized behavior, including restraint and boundaries.

Illegal and amoral ways of life are nothing new, but for decades, they were unsanctioned.

Although some remain under that umbrella, others have become squishy, including, if not child abuse, inappropriate behavior.

Those who support exposing their children to adult extracurricular activities often proclaim critics as religious fanatics or judgemental, returning to the idea of moral relativism.

Moral Relativism

A few public examples occurred last year.

In June 2021, the Washington Post published a piece by Lauren Rowello, who took her children to a parade, exposing them to kink. In her unabashed opinion, the author stated children need to learn more about “pursuing sex to fulfill carnal needs that delight and captivate us in the moment.” One of her children was eight years old.

Why did the Washington Post publish this?

Many commenters asked the same question. I saw no one supporting the writer’s stance, which, once upon a time, would have warranted a child abuse report.

Now? Meh. Next.

To my knowledge, the “award-winning journalist” did not renege her position.

Moving right along, how about the Kentucky school district investigated in October 2021 for allowing a teenage boy to give a lap dance to his high school principal and other staff members at a homecoming event?

If anyone doubts this occurred, the photos are available loud and clear on the Internet.

These are examples of what is happening in our culture. Some may not view this as concerning, but I do. Such permissive values do not bode well for children even if some view these situations as no big deal. If they think it contributes to healthy sexual development, they are wrong!

Children should be children, and more than ever, parenting requires extra vigilance.

Children should be children, and more than ever, parenting requires extra vigilance.

Anyone who believes the “let-it-all-hang-out” approach for children constructive, think again.

It is a narcissistic view by adults to justify their needs and desires, not the child’s.

If all this coolness helps our abundant society, I cannot help wonder if this cavalier norm contributes to children’s increased depression and anxiety.

I am not suggesting this issue alone causes such despair, but it cannot be ignored with female teen suicide rising to epic proportions? Also, the increased use of substances may, perhaps, be used to anesthetize discomfort, something teens keep secret to avoid the label of prude.


On a final note, I remind people not all perpetrators are men. Do they commit more sexual abuse acts? Yes, but as I have often written, the alleged fairer sex may be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If you question this, think Pamela Anderson, Whitney Houston, Dorothy Dandridge, Melissa Etheridge, and Tyler Perry. Although two are deceased, I believe they would agree.

The most significant needs of a child beyond food and shelter are safety and protection. Some view boundaries as oppressive. In the extreme, yes, but with balance, I believe they equate to love and healthy development.

Your Thoughts

What are your thoughts? I invite you to share.


Darlene Corbett
Darlene Corbett
Darlene Corbett views herself as a life-long learner, a pursuer of excellence, a work-in-progress, and a seeker-of-the-truth. For over thirty years, she has been assisting people to get unstuck. Darlene's primary professional role has been as a Therapist, but now she includes Author and Writer. In 2011, Darlene began putting her thoughts on paper and hasn’t stopped. Many of her blogs can also be found on Sixty and Me, Medium, and Penning these articles set the stage for her first book, Stop Depriving The World of You, traditionally published by Sound Wisdom. Throughout her career, Darlene has been described as animated or effervescent which contradicts the perception of a psychotherapist. She firmly believes in the importance of being authentic and discusses platinum-style authenticity in her book. As a believer in pushing oneself as long as one has life, Darlene’s first novel, Visible Forever, will be published in the spring of 2024 by WordCrafts Press.

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  1. Sorry for the delay Darlene ..
    This subject drives home the brokenness of humanity
    Only Light can pierce this darkness


    We are as “human onions” … born into a hurting world

    Our outer skin … we show as pearled

    But peel it back … a netherworld

    Many layers…many fears

    Many burdens…many tears

    Buried feelings … hidden scars

    Wounded hearts … lives are marred

    Some are bitter … some are sweet

    Some mistakes … we oft repeat

    To “know thyself” … these layers peel

    Through tears that come … a layer heals

    Another layer … bare my soul

    Do I really want to know?

    Another layer … do I dare?

    Give me courage … hear my prayer

    See the pride … in darkness hides

    See the walls … I’ve built inside

    See the lies I tell myself

    How I practice inner stealth

    See the Truth & be set free

    Peel away these layers of me

    In Your Light … I can fully be

    Being healed by knowing Thee

    Fay Vietmeier
    Human-onions & Divine Art

    • Oh my goodness, Fay! So haunting and elegant. I appreciate you sharing this with me. This is so true. I will check out your website. Thank you again! With a smile, D.

  2. Thank you, Darlene, for being an outspoken champion against child abuse. We must educate and empower parents so they know how to inform their children. On my “Safe Kids Now Show,” I have interviewed at least a dozen women who were abused as children. I was shocked to learn from my best friend of many years, that she was abused as a child by a relative. Sex abuse is starting to come out of the closet. Now is the time to empower parents so they know how to keep their children safe. Thank you for focusing on this important topic. Stephanie at

    • Thank you, dear Stephanie. I have heard stories like your friend’s for many years. It is a dark secret that many never reveal. I will never forget I saw a woman long ago who participated in family therapy. I cannot recall if it was the stepfather or father who abused her, but, of course, it was never revealed in that therapy. The root of the infection continued to fester. Thank you for all you do. We need to keep our most precious jewels safe.

  3. Darlene ..
    Thank you for shining light .. into the darkness
    This is truth: “evil can lurk beneath a lovely surface”
    (the devil himself “masquerades as an angel of light”)

    In both word and deed.
    No matter how “lovely the surface” (of a person or an institution)
    No natter how polished the platitudes

    Consider the evil (sin) of abusing children (in its MALEVOLENT multiplied ways)
    .. the theft of robbing & ruining INNOCENCE .. crushing the spirit of a child
    .. including in religious organizations – which are the most egregious
    .. it has existed throughout human history .. to this present day

    Where there is an evil will .. there is an evil way.
    .. this evil lurks in DARKNESS
    .. darkness in the soul
    .. poison in the spirit

    Hard-hearts contain the deepest level of self-deception
    This is a spiritual condition
    .. the cure (if there is one) is spiritual
    Some people are son “given over” .. they are beyond human help.

    “This is the verdict:
    Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
    Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
    But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” – John 3

    There is also the issue of abuse that gets handed down from one generation to the next.
    .. another dimension of this deep & dark pit ..

    • Thank you, Fay, for your most eloquent and thoughtful comment. As a person of faith, I appreciate your quote. Sadly, you are correct. Victims who become perpetrators make a choice, and yes, sexual abuse/incest can be generational. Years ago, I saw a couple of members from a family where a celebrated grandparent abused their children and then their grandchildren. When he died, a beautiful tribute was written by one of the victims. Denial is mighty, and rather than suffering banishment, they accept the dysfunction and adhere to the unspoken rule of “put out and shut up.” The only win from this convolution is distance and seeking help toward healing and recovery. Thank you again.