Re: DSM: Dawn's theory about kids getting hit

From: Dawn Harkness (
Date: Sat Nov 17 2001 - 06:29:49 EST

How about this, hypothetically speaking:

Let's say that instead of a child getting hit by a parent, one came upon a
man hitting and humiliating his girlfriend in public. Hopefully, folks
would come to her rescue, someone would call the police, and he would be
arrested. (Talk about shame!) If she were smart, she would get a
restraining order. He'd be criminally prosecuted and ordered into
counseling and maybe even put in jail. And that in my opinion is the best
available way to handle those situations. I feel the same if the person
doing the attacking is a stranger to their victim. I think it is an
indication of the level of societal acceptance of parental violence against
children that when we move the hypothetical from children being the victims
of violence, to adults being the victims of violence, I find I have more
company in my approach to these matters.

I wonder if those who think the minister's approach to handling abusive
parents was such a great idea also think that the same approach would be
effective in dealing with non-parental abuse: "Gee, some days it's hard to
be in a relationship isn't it. Being a boyfriend can be so tough,
especially when you are having a hard day. Is there something I can do to
help?" Would any one really do that? I doubt it. I know my minister
friend wouldn't. The conduct is essentially the same, but the legal and
social consequences are different.


----- Original Message -----
From: leslie <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2001 12:58 PM
Subject: Re: DSM: Dawn's theory about kids getting hit

> melanie,
> yes, i agree that the minister's approach to seeing and dealing with
> child abuse is certainly the most sane and effective approach. when we
> try to stop child abuse by embarrassing and shaming a parent it is
> harmful and perhaps just an indication of our hidden personal anger.
> shame is child abuse, it is only another component of the cycle.
> nothing good for the parent or the child can come from shame or
> bullying. it only can contribute to the cycle. it's a sad state of
> affairs when the political becomes more important than the personal. a
> little personal contact and kindness can go a long way toward healing.
> i was glad to read your post,
> leslie


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