Nurturing relationships essential to prevent child maltreatment

Photo by Sunny studio/
Photo by Sunny studio/

In recognition of October as Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart’s Army Community Service and the Family Advocacy Program would like to remind the community about the significance of a multifaceted approach in supporting a healthy family unit.

Research shows that families are happiest when the following protective factors are in place:
• Supportive family environment;
• Nurturing parenting skills with consistent household discipline;
• Stable family relationships;
• Adequate access to health care and social services; and
• Communities that support parents and take a vested interest in prevent ing child abuse.

To ensure our community’s continued strength and resilience, we want to encourage families to reevaluate their relationships. Do you have the healthiest approach in regards to your family dynamics? Are you aware of the affect that exposure to unhealthy relationships has on your children and the impact that exposure can have on their attitudes about healthy relationships? Are your fostering self sufficiency and healthy habits in your personal and family life?

Preventing child maltreatment and domestic abuse is everyone’s business in the Stuttgart military community. Adverse child experiences have the propensity to impact a young person long after the harmful exposure has been resolved. Trauma in the early years and adolescence can correlate to social, emotional and cognitive impairment which can increase the likelihood of health risk behaviors for our youth. Adverse child experiences research also links youth who are exposed to risky behaviors well into adulthood at an elevated risk for repeat exposure to violence, criminal activity and chronic illness as a result.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just one year of confirmed cases of child maltreatment costs $124 billion over the lifetime of the traumatized children. The researchers based their calculations on only confirmed cases of physical, sexual and verbal abuse and neglect, which child maltreatment experts say is a small percentage of what actually occurs.
Healthy relationships start at home and Family Advocacy can offer support with various life enrichment programs. Our services include new parent support through home visitation, couples enrichment, parenting education and healthy ways to manage emotions.

If you want more information about building resiliency through education on an individual or organizational level, call ACS at 431-3362/civ. 07031-15-3362. For more information on the impact of child trauma on our society, visit the CDC website at