Reporting Andrea Lucia
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – By the time we hear about child abuse in the news, it’s almost always ended in tragedy.
That’s not how this story goes. Issac Wright is a father of two, with a third child on the way. He admits he struggles and has lost his temper one too many times. “I’m a yeller,” he said. “You’re supposed to be the man of your house, the king of your castle.”
So, he did something that can be difficult, he swallowed his pride and asked for help.
The Child Abuse Prevention Center in Dallas believes in the principle that child abuse is preventable. “A lot of the families we work with don’t know how to be good parents – because of the way they were parented, or because of traumas they have experienced in their life,” said program director, Amy McShane.
She oversees counselors who work one on one with families, like the Wrights, to teach them how to cope with finances, marital stress, and the frustrations of parenting. “I don’t think it comes as naturally as most people expect, and I don’t think that’s something most of us like to admit,” she said.
While many experts advocate for child abuse prevention, though, government funding for parenting programs has suffered.
Perhaps, as a result, child abuse is on the rise in Dallas County.
“Child abuse has gone up dramatically in just the last year,” said Susan Hoff of the United Way. “ We think that’s probably correlated with stressors from the bad economy.”
In at least one home, though, things are getting better. “If we have an issue, we come together as a family and we talk about it,” said Wright.
All it took was reaching out. “I thank God we did that, because without the program I don’t know where we would be,” said Wright.
To donate or get help, contact the Child Abuse Prevention Center at childabusepreventioncenter.org.
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