A Child Called "It" book cover

A Child Called "It"

by Dave Pelzer

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Why did Dave Pelzer write A Child Called "It"?

Dave Pelzer had three principal motivations for writing A Child Called "It." First, he used writing as a form of therapy to face what had happened to him. Second, he wanted to raise awareness of child abuse in America. Finally, he hoped to inspire abuse victims and show them that they could overcome their trauma to lead successful lives.

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There seem to have been three principal motivations for Pelzer to write A Child Called It. First, having suffered horrific abuse at the hands of his mother, he needed to face what had happened to him for the sake of his own psychological health. Writing, therefore, was a form of therapy.

Pelzer's second motive was to raise awareness of child abuse. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the events in the book occurred, it was common for teachers, doctors, and other adults to ignore signs of abuse. The principal and teachers who eventually called in the police to rescue Pelzer were risking their jobs by doing so. In the final chapter, "Perspectives on Child Abuse," Pelzer interviews various people, including representatives of Child Protective Services, to show how common child abuse is in America. He lists the signs that adults should look for and urges people to take action to end the cycle of abuse.

Another motivation for Pelzer was to produce a book that would reassure victims of abuse that they were not alone, and that they would be able to prevail and lead happy, productive lives. He reflects on his own career, which includes military service in the US Air Force, and on raising his own son, Stephen, to show that such outcomes are possible even after the worst forms of abuse.

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