Protect children from violence [Letter]

September 17, 2014

I wish to address the recent events in which young children are being hurt by family violence, whether directly as victims or indirectly as witnesses. I believe that Ray and Janay Rice love their child and want what is best for her. We don't know for sure whether Ray Rice's assault of Janay was the first incident or not so we don't know whether Rayven witnessed his violence but certainly there is that possibility. I believe that Adrian Peterson loves his child and wants what is best for him. We can choose to call what Mr. Peterson did to his son "discipline," but, according to the report, he hit him with a switch, leaving bruises and cuts ("NFL now must tackle child abuse," Sept. 15).

Evidence shows that young children exposed to violence can be damaged by it. The structure of the brain is developing very rapidly in the early years based on the life experiences of the child. The brain structure is affected by the violence whether the violence is directed at the child or she or he witnesses it. Also, young children learn that it is OK to hurt people they love and that violence is an acceptable way to solve problems. Imagine the confusion a 4-year-old child must feel when he is hit with a stick to teach him that pushing another child isn't acceptable.

Nancy Jeannechild, Baltimore

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