Abusive parents are often ordinary people caught in life situations beyond their control. They may be struggling with stress caused by illness, money problems, alcohol or drug abuse, isolation or immaturity. They may have little or no knowledge of how children develop, or they may have been mistreated themselves. Support groups and parenting programs can help parents learn to deal with stress, and to raise and nurture their children without physical or emotional violence.
Programs like the Healthy Families programs that provide early and intensive support can virtually eliminate abuse and neglect in the most troubled families.
As community members, we all have an important role to play in preventing child abuse. We can advocate at work for family-friendly employment practices. We can strive to make our neighborhoods safe and healthy places for growing children and we can help to plan quality activities for children.
You, too, can help prevent child abuse and neglect. To find out how, contact: Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota (A program of the Family Support Network), 1821 University Ave., Suite 324-S, St. Paul, MN 55104, (800)-CHILDREN.