I grew up in a rough neighborhood in Houston, and I knew kids exposed to violence in our community and at home. Witnessing the impact violence had on their lives inspired my career path.
I’ve dedicated my professional career to researching the impacts of abuse and neglect, and trying to find solutions for both mitigating its effects and stopping it in its tracks.
Recently, I spent time researching the impact exposure to domestic violence has on kids, and how it affects their own dating relationships as they grow up. We know there is a link – kids who experience violence are more likely to continue that cycle.
But there is hope. When these same kids had regular, positive interaction with a parent who was actively engaged in their day-to-day life, showed support, and openly expressed love, they were less likely to continue the cycle.
It isn’t an easy path, but it is a simple one – if we show vulnerable youth they are loved for and cared for, we can mitigate the effects of abuse.