adBlockCheck

Study: Most Self-Abuse Goes Unreported

Top Headlines

Recent News

Poll: 89% Of Debate Viewers Tuning In Solely To See Whether Roof Collapses

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Explaining that the American people showed relatively little interest in learning more about the nominees’ economic, counterterrorism, or immigration policies, a new Quinnipiac University poll revealed that 89 percent of viewers were tuning into Monday night’s presidential debate solely to see whether the roof collapses on the two candidates.

New Study Finds Solving Every Single Personal Problem Reduces Anxiety

SEATTLE—Explaining that participants left the clinical trial feeling calmer and more positive, a study published Monday by psychologists at the University of Washington has determined that people can significantly reduce their anxiety by solving every single one of their personal problems.

Trump Planning To Throw Lie About Immigrant Crime Rate Out There Early In Debate To Gauge How Much He Can Get Away With

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Saying he would probably introduce the falsehood in his opening statement or perhaps during his response to the night’s first question, Republican nominee Donald Trump reported Monday he was planning to throw out a blatant lie about the level of crime committed by immigrants early in the first presidential debate to gauge how much he’d be allowed to get away with.

Rest Of Nation To Penn State: ‘Something Is Very Wrong With All Of You’

WASHINGTON—Stating they felt deeply unnerved by the community’s unwavering and impassioned defense of a football program and administration that enabled child sexual abuse over the course of several decades, the rest of the country informed Penn State University Friday that there is clearly something very wrong with all of them.

Strongside/Weakside: Lamar Jackson

After passing for eight touchdowns and rushing for another 10 in just the first three weeks of the season, Louisville Cardinals sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson has quickly become the frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy. Is he any good?

Obesity: Myth Vs. Fact

With as many as one in three people in the U.S. qualifying as obese, misconceptions are often formed about what it means to be significantly overweight. The Onion separates obesity myths from facts
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Study: Most Self-Abuse Goes Unreported

BOULDER—According to a study released Tuesday by the University of Colorado sociology department, approximately 95 percent of self-abuse cases in the U.S. go unreported.

Our Health

"As shocking as it may seem, unreported incidents of self-abuse number in the billions," said Dr. Henry Cracklin, director of the study. "This isn't just the plight of teenage boys and truck drivers. Self-abuse affects both genders and all ages. Nevertheless, a great majority of victims suffer the abuse in silence."

The study's results, obtained through five years of surveys and interviews, indicate that millions of Americans have publicly acknowledged involvement in a self-abusive relationship. Yet the study finds that unreported abuse victims comprise an alarming 87 percent of the female population and 99.6 percent of males.

"In many cases, the self-abuse occurs repeatedly over the course of a lifetime, with the victims believing themselves powerless to break the cycle of shame, embarrassment, and self-loving," Cracklin said. "The sad reality is that, if you know a man or woman between the ages of 12 and 80, you know a self-abuse victim."

Just as alarming as the high incidence of abuse, Cracklin said, is the fact that it's impossible to predict where it will occur.

"Our surveys indicate that self-abuse incidents are unpredictable," Cracklin said. "They can occur at any time and in any place. Study participants were abused in their own beds, in showers, in the bathroom stalls of college dorms. It's happened in the parking lot during lunch hour, at the beach, in library basements, and even in vehicles moving along the highway at night."

Cracklin added: "It may be happening to someone you love, right at this very moment."

According to Janet Linstrom, founder of Mothers Against Self Touch-Abuse, family members and friends who suspect that a minor is being self-abused often do nothing, because they believe the child's claim that he simply enjoys being left alone.

"The self-abuse victim will often withdraw from the family. He'll forgo group activities, opting instead to spend hours locked in his bedroom, surfing the Internet," Linstrom said. "Unfortunately, I am all too aware of the danger signs. You see, both my husband and I were self-abused."

Support-group leaders like Linstrom address the problem one victim at a time.

14-year-old Eric Jarrell, who reported he was self-abused four times the day this photo was taken.

"Many victims are reluctant to seek help," Linstrom said. "Their abusers have isolated them from friends and family, so there's no one for them to reach out to. For many, the abuser is the only intimate friend they have."

"Truth be told, victims sometimes report deriving some sort of satisfaction from the self-abuse," Linstrom said, "There's an intensity to abusive relationships that many self-abuse victims don't find elsewhere. Many will say, 'No one else makes me feel this way.'"

Added Linstrom: "That's why we focus on the younger ones. We've been working in the schools, but it's an uphill battle. We hear scores of second- and third-hand accounts of self-abuse, but it's not easy to get students to share stories of their own victimization."

In spite of the stranglehold self-abuse has on the population, few sources of help are available to victims, said Sister Joselda Hattchett, founder of St. Mary's Self-Abuse Shelter in Denver, a Catholic charity group dedicated to counseling self-abuse victims.

"As far as I'm aware, we're one of the few institutions specifically designed to handle the fallout from these attacks," Hattchett said. "Incredible as it may seem, those who are brave enough to report the self-abuse often find that their claims are not taken seriously. Some victims are even laughed at."

Hattchett said the shelter provides a self-abuse hotline, but the 900-number seems to do more harm than good.

"We placed ads in the back of men's magazines and newsweeklies," Hattchett said. "The sisters find that the majority of the victims who reach out to them are unable to escape their tormentors, even during a short phone call. We thought having non-threatening, soft-voiced women answer the phones would make it easier for victims to discuss the problem, but most callers only seem interested in the operators' fashion choices or whether they like to 'party.'"

Hattchett said the hardest part of her job is seeing self-abuse victims who were brave enough to come forward fall back into the hands of their abusers.

"It's difficult to get self-abuse victims to stop blaming themselves for what's happened," Hattchett said. "They think it's their fault, because they're too weak to resist. And, despite everything that has happened, they often maintain strong feelings for their abusers. I've seen it happen time and time again."

WATCH VIDEO FROM THE ONION

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close