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Teaching Resilience Key to Prevent Child Abuse, Neglect

PHOTO: Resiliency is considered a protective factor for kids in the world of preventing child abuse and neglect, as well as an important skill in healing from abuse. An expert says the skill can be taught. Photo credit: cat6719/pixabay.com
PHOTO: Resiliency is considered a protective factor for kids in the world of preventing child abuse and neglect, as well as an important skill in healing from abuse. An expert says the skill can be taught. Photo credit: cat6719/pixabay.com
March 19, 2015

BALTIMORE - Being resilient helps protect families during times of stress, and helps with healing when there has been abuse or neglect. Resilience is a child-abuse prevention strategy being employed in Maryland, and Pat Stanislaski, director at Partnering for Prevention, says research shows some people are naturally resilient.

There's even a gene associated with the skill. But she makes the case that everyone can learn and many make discoveries when they experience trauma or severe emotional stress.

"They find at the end, they've gotten through it because they came up with this amazing ability to be resilient that they didn't know they have," says Stanislaski. "Another thing that seems to happen is they see new possibilities in their lives."

She says resilience can mitigate the impact of abuse and it's important for parents and caregivers to be resilient to diminish the likelihood of abuse and neglect in the first place.

Stanislaski says it's important to understand some of the myths about resilient people. For example, she points to a belief that resilient people do it all by themselves.

"The most resilient people are the people who really surround themselves with family and friends and other support systems," she says. "They talk to people and they ask for help when they need it."

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD