Lisa Dunning, MFT

Lisa Dunning, Marriage & Family Therapist Article - Breaking the Cycle of Child Abuse

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Lisa Dunning, Marriage & Family Therapist
Parent / Child Relationship Specialist

Breaking the Cycle of Child Abuse

Author Of Parenting Book
"Good Parents Bad Parenting"

Good Parents
Bad Parenting

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Breaking the Cycle of Child Abuse
by Lisa Dunning, MA, MFT

Children are the innocent victims of child abuse, but sadly many abused children become abusers themselves. One would think that the exact opposite would be the norm, but we are what lived and if a child grows up with abuse, they are more likely to become abusers themselves.

Why do those who suffer from child abuse become abusers themselves?

Unfortunately they learned how to deal with their anger and frustration through violence. Many children, who are victims of child abuse, learn to be aggressive and violent to others. They often have low self esteem and become involved in relationships where there is domestic violence. Studies have revealed that many inmates in prison have been victims of child abuse. As children they learned how to deal with their problems through violence. As adults that violence was perpetrated on other innocent victims.

If we know that children of abusers become future child abusers, then it obviously follows that many parents who abuse their children were victims of child abuse themselves. I am not trying to excuse abusive behavior, but knowing that an abuser today typically had been abused as a child does help abusers realize that they need to take the necessary steps to educate themselves about child abuse so they can end the cycle of abuse with their children.

Victims of child abuse need counseling and parenting education to help break the cycle. By providing parenting education many of these parents will learn new and more appropriate parenting skills. Counseling will also enable victims to heal from the emotional pain they suffered.

Recognize the warning signs of child abuse and taking action!

To prevent a child from harming innocent victims we have to first educate the public on the warning signs. If you see a child with unexplained bruises, constant school absences without any explanation, or any change in a child's behavior, take action. Too many times we often ignore the warning signs. Warning signs that are clearly evident after horrible acts of violence, like Columbine, are featured on our national news.

Child Abuse is Preventable With the Proper Tools and Education.

Together parents, teachers, counselors, administrators and even others students can help stop child abuse. Together we all can break the cycle of child abuse.

Any of these articles by Lisa Dunning, Family Therapist may be re-published in hardcopy (magazines, newsletters or newspapers) or electronic format in websites, ezines or electronic newsletters provided the following resource box is included at the end of the article with a link to the URL

Lisa Dunning is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Specializing in Parent/Child Relationship issues, the author of "Good Parents Bad Parenting: How To Parent Together When Your Parenting Styles Are Worlds Apart" and the host of her own radio show, "Life Support". She provides marriage, divorce and parenting phone sessions to clientele across the United States and Canada and provides expert parenting advice to newspaper & magazine columnists.  To learn more about Lisa Dunning visit her website at

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Copyright 2004, Lisa Dunning, Marriage & Family Therapist - Parent / Child Relationship Specialist.
(Breaking The Cycle of Child Abuse Article)