Almost all parents love their children, wish to be good parents, and do not intend to abuse their children. Despite this, some parents are socially isolated; have few resources to help them through difficult times; face stress with which they cannot cope; and have limited parenting skills. Parents in these circumstances are more at risk of abusing their children.
Children’s basic brain development is similar to the construction of a house – both require a solid foundation to build upon. Brain growth begins before birth and continues to grow into adulthood. When children are exposed to toxic stress, such as child abuse, brain development can become stunted, causing learning and behavior problems and physical and mental illness overtime. This damage may inhibit a child from reaching his or her full potential and the long-term contributions he or she makes to society as a whole.
In order to end child abuse, we have to understand the scope of the problem. Prevent Child Abuse Iowa has identified data and resources to help our supporters further understand child abuse in our state.