Child abuse is a major cause of concern in our society. Despite increased awareness of the problem, many children still suffer abuse at the hands of their parents and guardians. Many parents become frustrated and angry with their children,but most are able to deal with their anger and frustration without violence. Some, however, lack the skills for handling that anger constructively. When the emotions become overwhelming, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of children may result. There is evidence that many abusive parents were victims of child abuse themselves. As they begin to rear their own children, these parents may fall back into familiar patterns of abuse. These parents also tend to be emotionally isolated and unaware of what constitutes realistic child behavior. Alcohol and drug abuse can also be major factors in child abuse. Child abuse happens in families of all races, religions, social circles, and economic classes. Help is available to both the parents and the children caught in an abusive family. It is important to report suspected cases of child abuse to the proper authorities so that the child may be removed from the dangerous environment. Usually the person reporting the abuse may remain anonymous. For parents who find themselves increasingly frustrated with their children, help is available through counseling, parenting classes and self-help groups such as Parents Anonymous. For more information about child abuse, talk to your health care provider or a mental health provider.
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