Local News

Counselors Provide Help for Rising Incidents of Domestic Violence and Family Problems in N.C.

Posted November 5, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Counselors hope everyone learns from tragedies like the murder of a Wilson baby. Young families often find themselves dealing with stress, and struggling to keep it from erupting. WRAL'sBrian Bowman spoke with several experts Tuesday who dedicate their lives to helping parents prevent dangerous temper flares.

Lynne White, Wilson Crisis Center, said domestic violence and family problems seem to be on the rise in the eastern part of the state. She and her staff of more than 100 phone counselors hear from a lot of callers who say they have to talk to someone, even if that someone is a stranger.

Experts like family therapist Bill Edwards say talking is the one thing many people don't do before they become violent. He said young parents often feel isolated, and blame it on their children.

Police are still trying to figure out why a Wilson man and his fiancee allegedly killed her baby, but they say the two claimed they were punishing the child at the time. There's no guarantee that outside intervention could have prevented the tragedy, but experts say if you're going through pain yourself, you don't have to do it alone.

If you don't have the time or ability to go for help, there are immediate steps you can take at home to deal with your anger. Child care experts say the first step is to keep calm. Just lowering your voice and speaking slowly should help you stay in control. You can also walk away.

The pros say separating yourself from the child for just a couple minutes can do wonders in restoring control. Also, "time outs" can work both ways, for children and their parents.

Reporter/PhotographerBrian Bowman