To Hit a Raw Nerve

To upset someone:

She touched a raw nerve when she mentioned that job he didn’t get.

The newspaper article touched a raw nerve – people still resent the closure of the local school.


Cambridge Dictionary

Touch a raw nerve PHRASE

If you say that you have touched a nerve or touched a raw nerve, you mean that you have accidentally upset someone by talking about something that they feel strongly about or are very sensitive about.

Alistair saw Henry shrink, as if the words had touched a nerve.
The mere mention of John had touched a very raw nerve indeed.

Collins Dictionary

What does touching a nerve mean?

It means that someone has said something to another that invokes a feeling of insecurity in a specific area in your personality or life. Another way of saying it is “That hit close to home”

For example:

They could make a generalization about people on welfare being lazy.

You had once used social assistance in a time of crisis and are insecure about It, You might say “That’s not true!” defensively

Unloved and Forgotten – China’s Children of Shame | ENDEVR Documentary

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Chinese Children Are Being Abandoned By Their Parents

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Japan’s Throwaway Children | 101 East |日本の捨て児

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3 okt 2014

In a country that frowns upon foster care, 33,000 children from abusive homes are growing up in state institutions.

In the United Kingdom, United States and other developed countries, abused or neglected children are often sent to live with a foster family. But that rarely happens in Japan, one of the world’s wealthiest and most progressive societies.

Close to 90 percent of Japan’s troubled children are placed in state institutions – out of sight and out of mind.

Some 33,000 children currently live in such institutions in this society that frowns upon the use of foster care. But critics say the excessive reliance on 131 child nursing homes across the country represents a form of abuse in itself.

Inside these institutions there are babies as young as six months old, and institutionalised children spend on average five years in the nursing homes. This is despite United Nations guidelines stipulating that alternative care for children under the age of three should almost always be in family-based settings.

Human Rights Watch found that Japan’s alternative child care system suffers from overly large institutions where physical space is limited and chances for bonding are scarce. There are poor conditions of the facilities; physical and sexual abuse, by both caregivers and other children, occurs; and there are insufficient mechanisms for children to report problems.

“It’s heartbreaking to see children crammed into institutions and deprived of the chance for life in a caring family setting,” says Kanae Doi, the Japan director at Human Rights Watch.

Critics say the overwhelming use of institutions instead of family-based care is failing thousands of vulnerable children by not preparing them for independent, productive lives in Japanese society. They are calling for the Japanese government to overhaul its alternative care system, which they say harms the well-being and healthy development of children and infants, and contravenes international children’s rights.

Foster care has not emerged as a viable alternative for abused children in Japan because governments have failed to properly train carers, monitor the placements, or adequately educate the public about its benefits. As a result, one-quarter of the children placed in such settings return to institutions.

In the Japanese child welfare system, biological parents retain all legal rights over their child even if they have an abusive history – leading many to have very unstable childhoods.

“I think the government completely lacks the concept of children’s rights. The number of children receiving alternative care is extremely small so they are a minority. So the thinking is that it doesn’t matter what happens to those kids, they have no one to speak up for them,” says Tetsuo Tsuzaki, a child protection expert from Kyoto Prefectural University.

With child abuse cases rising to a record 73,000 cases last year, the problem of institutions and where to place troubled children is unlikely to go away.

101 East gains unprecedented access to these institutions and investigates Japan’s hidden shame: the neglect of its most vulnerable children.

What can be done to improve the lives of 33,000 child abuse victims living in Japan’s state institutions? #ThrowawayChildren on @AJ101East

Reporter’s blog
By Drew Ambrose

In Japan, when a child is removed from his or her parents due to neglect, they are more likely to be placed in an institution, rather than a foster home.

Japan strongly values blood ties, so welcoming a stranger’s child into a family seems unnatural to many people. Some parents believe a foster family could steal their son or daughter forever, so choose to send them to an institution instead.

Mothers are clueless about child-rearing. But there is no institution where they can learn about it and that is why the chain reaction of abuse cannot be stopped.

Yuki Okada, musician

As a result, a staggering 85 percent of children in Japanese institutions are victims of physical and sexual abuse.

In my home country Australia, foster care is thought to be the best course of action for children who have suffered at the hands of their parents. So in Japan, seeing children housed in facilities that often look like run-down orphanages seemed strange given how progressive and modern the country is.

Why Are Millions of Chinese Kids Parenting Themselves?

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1 Seema Misra, former sub-postmistress at 1:19. Horizon Scandal, BBC 2-2-2024

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2 feb 2024
At 8:57 Tom Hedges, former sub-postmaster.

2 The Great Post Office Scandal: Is the scandal-ridden Post Office fit for purpose? | Nick Wallis

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4 jun 2023

‘People are asking serious questions about whether the organisation is fit for purpose because it doesn’t add any value to the country anymore.’

Author of ‘The Great Post Office Scandal’ Nick Wallis joins Andrew Doyle to discuss the multiple scandals facing the Post Office.

The expression “to hit a raw nerve” refers to bringing up a sensitive or emotionally charged topic that causes a strong reaction in someone. Here are the key points associated with this expression:

  1. Emotional Sensitivity: The phrase suggests that the topic being discussed is emotionally charged or sensitive for the person involved.

  2. Uncomfortable Reaction: When a raw nerve is hit, it often leads to a strong and uncomfortable emotional response. This could manifest as anger, sadness, frustration, or other intense feelings.

  3. Personal Significance: The topic is likely to be personally significant or related to a past experience that still has a profound impact on the individual.

  4. Unresolved Issues: “Hitting a raw nerve” implies that there might be unresolved issues or emotional wounds associated with the discussed topic.

  5. Unexpected or Unintentional: Sometimes, hitting a raw nerve can be unintentional, with the person bringing up the topic unaware of its emotional impact.

Overall, the expression captures the idea that certain subjects can be emotionally charged for individuals, and discussing them can elicit strong, often negative, reactions due to the personal significance of the matter.

India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, with Mohandas Gandhi, the Mahatma, in 1946. PHOTO: Twitter/The_anishsingh

Daily roundup: Why PM Lee Hsien Loong’s Nehru comments hit a raw nerve in India — and other top stories today

While both “to hit a raw nerve” and “addressing the elephant in the room” involve discussing sensitive topics, they have slightly different nuances:

  1. To Hit a Raw Nerve:

    • This expression specifically emphasizes the emotional impact of bringing up a sensitive or personal topic.
    • It suggests that the discussed subject is not only uncomfortable but also touches on deep-seated emotions or unresolved issues.
  2. Addressing the Elephant in the Room (or An Elephant in the Room):

    • This expression refers to acknowledging an obvious, difficult, or sensitive issue that everyone is aware of but avoids discussing.
    • It may not necessarily carry the same intense emotional connotation as “hitting a raw nerve” and can be applied to any uncomfortable but obvious topic.

While both expressions involve dealing with uncomfortable topics, “hitting a raw nerve” is more focused on the emotional response, whereas “addressing the elephant in the room” is broader and can encompass any uncomfortable or obvious issue that needs acknowledgment.

An Inconvenient Truth” typically refers to an undeniable and inconvenient fact or reality, often used in the context of environmental issues or challenges. On the other hand, “touching a raw nerve” or “laying a finger on the wound” generally implies addressing a sensitive or emotionally charged topic that may cause discomfort or upset.

While both concepts involve acknowledging difficult or uncomfortable aspects, “An Inconvenient Truth” usually refers to an objective and undeniable reality, whereas “touching a raw nerve” often involves subjective and emotionally charged elements. The latter is more about the emotional impact of discussing a particular issue rather than the objective truth of the matter.

In certain situations, the distinction between “touching a raw nerve” and “An Inconvenient Truth” can blur, especially when dealing with emotionally charged and undeniable facts. In cases of wrongful accusations or injustices, the objective truth (the inconvenient truth) can indeed be emotionally charged, making it akin to touching a raw nerve.

The emotional impact comes not just from the factual aspects but also from the human experiences and injustices associated with those facts. In instances like the British Post Office case, the objective truth about systemic failures and wrongful accusations is intertwined with the emotional toll on individuals. In such cases, acknowledging the truth can indeed touch a raw nerve due to the personal and emotional implications involved.

Language and expressions can be nuanced, and the distinction between certain terms may vary based on context and the specific circumstances being discussed. In many cases, language captures the complexity of human experiences, and there can indeed be situations where the emotional impact and the objective truth closely intertwine.

A fitting definition of “intertwine” from the Cambridge Dictionary, emphasizing the idea of twisting or connecting together in a way that makes separation difficult. In the context of our discussion, the term illustrates how objective truth and emotional impact can become closely connected or interwoven, especially when dealing with complex and sensitive issues.

When discussing matters that touch on both objective reality and emotional responses, the two aspects can become intertwined, making it challenging to separate the factual truth from the emotional impact. This interconnection is precisely what can make certain topics both objectively true and emotionally charged at the same time.

🔵 Hit a Nerve Meaning Touch a Raw Nerve Examples Strike a Nerve Definition Touch a Nerve Hit a Nerve

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28 jun 2023

Hand and Finger Idioms and Collocations Hand Finger Idioms C2 English IDIOMS and COLLOCATIONS
Hit a Nerve Meaning – Touch a Raw Nerve Examples – Strike a Nerve Definition – Idioms – Strike a Nerve Touch a Nerve Hit a Nerve Touch a Sore Point
What does touch a nerve mean? What is touch a nerve? What is the meaning of touch a nerve? A definition of touch a nerve. The video gives various example sentences of touch a nerve in context for you to be able to use touch a nerve correctly when speaking and writing.
What does touch a raw nerve mean? What is touch a raw nerve? What is the meaning of touch a raw nerve? A definition of touch a raw nerve. The video gives various example sentences of touch a raw nerve in context for you to be able to use touch a raw nerve correctly when speaking and writing.

Jerk Cop Steals Old Lady’s Seat

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5 apr 2014

Normal, civilized people give their seat up for old people. Denis the Cop, on the other hand, asks people to give their seat up for him. What a jerk!