Violence on Child Substance Abuse and Physical Emotional Abuse and Victims Becoming Abusers Term Paper

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Violence in the Family, Violence Against Children is a Cycle

To have a rational understanding of the cycle of violence and abuse that occurs within families as a result of past sexual abuse and present drug abuse upon the heads of the family, one must seek explanations for such bad parental behavior without excusing the negative behavior on the part of the adults themselves. If no causes of violence can be determined, and only legal vengeance is enacted against the perpetrators of abuse, then merely punishment will occur and the cycle of violence and hatred will never end. It is better to redress such crimes, moreover, with an eye to reforming the family, rather than in a spirit of retributive justice.

An example of this can be seen in the child psychologist Torey Hayden's book One Child. In her text, the author and teacher chronicle the abuse of one of her students, a young girl named Shelia. Shelia's uncle, a man named Jerry whom is also an alcoholic, rapes Shelia. Shelia is an engaging child, and Hayden's boyfriend, a man named Chad is enraged to hear of this action upon Jerry's part. As Chad paces Hayden's room, threatening to do physical harm to the man, Hayden recalls the reasons why Shelia was placed in her class for 'special needs' students in the first place. "Five months earlier, Shelia had been the abusers and someone else had been the victim. Undoubtedly the boy's parents had felt very much the same way as Chad was now feeling toward made me aware that the hurt and damage I had found in Shelia was probably in Jerry too. Neither was innocent, but neither was solely evil either." (173)

Six-year-old Shelia, unlike the adult Jerry, however, receives treatment for her emotional problems within the school system and goes on to live a productive life, mercifully free of the violence tendencies in her character she enacted as a young, abused and abandoned girl against other children. Shelia's personal example demonstrates the importance of not punishing young people as adults, and even extending a certain level of toleration towards families in crisis, with an eye…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Hayde, Torey. One Child. Avon, 1980

Kruger, (February 7, 2003). "DCF Policy Shift." St. Petersburg Times. Front Page.

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