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Saddened by loss, but hopeful help remains available

Family & Children’s Place is deeply saddened by news that two children are dead, and a mother injured in an apparent domestic abuse situation Tuesday night in Paoli, Ind., that also left the father dead, by his own hand, and one child, thankfully, uninjured.

Every incident of domestic and child abuse is heartbreaking – to families, friends, communities, and in this case, as with so many, there are many questions unanswered. These are best left to law enforcement and other professionals, but there are some things we know.

We know that one in three women in the United States will suffer domestic violence at some point in her life and one in eight children nationally will experience some form of abuse or neglect before they reach the age of 18. Men suffer abuse as well – the Centers for Disease Control reports that one in seven men has been the victim of abuse by a partner.

The numbers are tragic and the costs exorbitant – in current and future medical costs (abuse victims are more likely to commit serious crime; to develop allergies, asthma and bronchitis, high blood pressure; and suffer from panic dissociative disorders, depression, anger and post-traumatic stress disorder), and in human lives. Total estimated financial impact of child abuse alone exceeds $124 billion annually, and the loss of a single life – child or adult – to abuse is too high.

We offer our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those caught up in Tuesday night’s tragedy, and we hope for full and speedy recoveries of the injured. We hope people continue to educate themselves about domestic violence and abuse, and of the signs and indicators.

We hope, too, that there continue to be comprehensive and compassionate  services provided and available to women, men, children and families who need help and support, be it parenting or coping tips, anger management, counseling or buddy systems, so that similar events can be prevented.

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