When Homes Fail Violence is Normal and Generational
By Ronald D. Hunter
How do you measure the value of a human life? Each one of us is a unique person full of potential. But what happens when that potential is stolen away as a child, growing up in a home where violence is not only the norm, but accepted as a way of life? What happens when a child experiences a tragic loss of hope and self-respect while in their formative years?
Domestic violence clothed in pretentious love is a terrible disease. Children who grow up where violence, hate and anger permeate their home soon learn lessons that know no one should have to learn at a young age. The results are angry individuals who are prone to make bad decisions, continue those violent tendencies, and ultimately enter our justice system.
We must address the root causes of violence if we are to stop the waste of human lives. We must diligently and pragmatically support programs that find environments for our youth so they won't continue this tragic cycle of violence.
Our children are the promise for a better tomorrow. We need to nurture and educate them. They deserve a chance to grow into productive, vital citizens. The health and prosperity of our communities depends upon it.
So, what do we do when the home fails our children, and violence leads to more violence? We give back. Do we really want to help young people become productive members of society and give them the knowledge, attitude, skills, and habits to succeed? Or do we expect someone else to take the responsibility?
We have to unite our resources – public and private - and send a strong message that we must have real change if we are to stop violence from continuing generationally. We must give our at-risk young people the support they need to realize their full potential.
We need to work together to treat the cause and not the effect. If a child's heart is right, his mind will be right. We need transitional placement for our at-risk young people where they are given a toolbox of resources, including conflict resolution skills – how to engage others and deal with differences - so that when they find themselves confronted with potentially violent situations, and are tempted to go down the wrong path, they will pause for a moment and realize that they can change.