Dispatches from a Reporter's Notebook

Breaking the Cycle of Violence

Posted June 12, 2008

One only has to turn on the television news at night or open the newspaper in the morning to see evidence that violence begets violence.

The trial of Lynn Paddock who is accused of killing her adoptive son, Sean, is a text book case of a violent childhood leading to a violent adulthood.  Paddock took the stand this week in her own defense describing horrific tales of abuse from her own mother as a child.  Despite her acknowledgment that the abuse was wrong she apparently grew up to be an abuser herself according to testimony from her children.

Being a victim of abuse is no excuse for abuse- especially abuse that results in the death of a child, but it is a reason for it.  It is a fact that until the cycle of violence is broken by some intervening factor- counseling, or in the worst case the criminal justice system- it will continue  in some form.

One can only hope when the Paddock trial is over, whatever the result, that her children get the help they need so that they can grow up to be non-violent adults despite the terror they experienced as children.  One can only hope...

About this Blog:

WRAL's Amanda Lamb offers a behind-the-scenes look at what TV news reporters do, the people they meet and how their jobs affect them.