On any of these cool autumn nights, dozens of our neighbors will face sudden terror. A mother may be beaten while making dinner for her child. A knife used to pare an apple may become a weapon. After the crisis passes, if it passes, the house will most assuredly be slow to settle down.
Scenes like this are too common in Wake County, where thousands of abuse cases are reported each year. Even if there is no abuse in the home, many local children grow up with parents who experienced emotional or physical abuse, which affects the way they parent their own children.
This happens in every neighborhood, with parents of every color, creed, education or income. SAFEchild and InterAct work with mothers as part of our jointly implemented MOVE program – Mothers Overcoming Violence through Education and Empowerment. Together, we reinforce positive parenting techniques, develop strategies to assure safety for moms and their children, improve self-esteem and teach strategies to overcome life’s challenges.
The UNC School of Social Work evaluated our program’s long-term outcomes and found that mothers who completed the program report an increased ability to protect their children from abuse and violence, as well as improved attitudes toward parenting and stronger coping skills. Raising safe and healthy kids is every family’s responsibility, and they need the community to support them in that endeavor.
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Executive director, SAFEchild
Executive director, InterAct