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Gang Violence

August 03, 1986

It was interesting to read a citizen connecting the gang violence stories with the foster home problems (Wasserman letter, July 27). There are many more such interesting connections. Research supports the theory that from battered children has emerged an unmistakable and predictable pattern of juvenile and adult criminality born of the self-hate and destructiveness that abuse produces.

Working in both the legal field and the abuse prevention efforts, I have seen the concern for an abused child change to hatred and revulsion when he has inflicted his brutality on an innocent victim with the same lack of compassion with which he was raised. It deeply saddens me how in a few short years you run out of the chance for a better life and now face a crowd demanding a death sentence for you. I am not defending murder but stressing the importance help can make in an abused child's life.

The problem begins at home and the solution is also there. Home, it is said, is where life makes up its mind. The solutions of more foster care and filling burgeoning prisons distract us from the root causes, such as dysfunctional families, resulting from the lack of parenting education and family life resources.

Government would be brought to its knees if it had to care for all the children which are presently being abused. There are a few parents who reach out for help before serious abuse happens, but most are only discovered and helped after years of serious abusive acts.

Our goal is to prevent abuse before it begins by developing a family life education center for the prevention of abusive behaviors and for the enhancement of harmonious family relationships.

SALLY NAVA KANAREK

Director,

Mothers Against Child Abuse

Orange

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