Independent from Long Beach, California on March 22, 1976 · Page 20
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Independent from Long Beach, California · Page 20

Long Beach, California
Issue Date:
Monday, March 22, 1976
Page 20
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Child abuse problem examined by experts »t)R. RONALD SUMMIT, head physician, ^· ; ,Department of Psychiatry at H a r b o r ·"."·General Hospital, was among panelists ,,,:,,,. and workshop discussion leaders at Jun- "T.v.ior League symposium on child abuse and neglect. He pointed out that "nobody deliberately expects to abuse a child and an abusing parent does not learn a lesson from punishment. Sensitivity and understanding are needed." ADMINISTRATOR of regional protective services for the Department of Public Social Services, Robert F. Petrash talked briefly about the protective services pro- '' gram. There are 20 caseworkers in the " Long Beach office, he said, handling an ., average of 150 to 200 referrals a month. "Plus, we still have 500 cases open. We arc often greeted by hostility in visiting a h o m e to investigate a possible child abuse case. We need the support and help of the community in recognizing this '· problem." By DIANNE SMITH Stall Writer Child abuse and neglect arc complex problems crossing all socio-economic lines. That there is no easy solution was the conclusion of a day-long symposium Friday sponsored by Junior League of Long Beach. But, discouragement was not the tone of the day. The key to solving the problem is an informed and supportive citizenry which can make the public service agencies function more completely in handling such cases, according to experts in the field. Among them were the two keynote speakers -Dr. Florence Douglas, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Drew King Medical Center in Watts, and Douglas Besharov, director of the U.S. Child Abuse Center, Office of Child Development for the Department of Health Education and Welfare. More than 700 persons, including students, teachers, nurses, doctors, social workers, law enforcement personnel and Junior League members and friends attended the session at the Edgewater Hyatt House. The symposium was arranged by Mary Ann Webb. Dr. Douglas, as morning keynoter, listed seven factors that relate to the causes of child abuse. These are history from Saturn to Medea to the early sacrifices of the young to appease gods; interpsychic, interpersonal, social and economic, cultural, political and moral -- "our value systems often rooted in religious convictions. She said an abused child has certain distinct characteristics including "a frozen watchfulness, silence, fixed gaze, fear and no basic trust" These often take overt form in vomiting, excessive crying, asthma, cxema, licks and sleeping difficulties resulting in the parent viewing Ihe child as defiant, timid and aggressive, according to Dr. Douglas. She noted that only 10 per cent of parents who arc child abuscrs are mentally ill. The remaining 90 per cent are considered "normal, meaning anyone is capable of child abuse." A TYPICAL PICTURE of abusing parents is that they arc in their 20s. The mother is usually depressed about the pregnancy from the beginning and each parent is dependent on the survival of the marriage. In order to avoid arguing with the other spouse, one parent will lake out his or her anger on the child, the psychiatrist said. Abusing parents also have unrealistic expectations of their children, agreed both Dr. Douglas and Besharov, who flew out from Washington, D.C. especially for the program. "They want their children to comfort and love them, instead of vice versa. They also resent their child's emotional dependency." Another common trait in abusing parents is that they were abused as children by their parents. "This is true in 30 to 60 per cent of the cases," noted Besharov, who has been in the HEW post for six months. "These parents are difficult to like; they expect abuse and rejection and avoid social situations, have few friends. Dr. Douglas said Ihe key to dealing with child abuscrs is the maintaining and sustaining of the family unit in trouble whenever possible. "Our social institutions are designed to view situations based on the nuclear family -- father, mother and children. This is not always the case with an abused or neglected child. We also must try to understand tlie circumstances before condeming the action per se." She said institutions dealing with such cases must assume a non-punitive, non-judgmental attitude to be successful. "These parents need nurturing as much as their children." ALSO ON THE MORNING program was the film "Fragile, Handle With Care," narrated by actor Bill Cosby and dramatizing three case histories of child abuse, one ending in the death of an infant. In the introduction, Cosby notes that "children are a special gift ... (they're) not as strong as you are yet, and they need love and protection ... so take care." The film also pointed out that one out of ten families in this country is involved in child abuse or neglect. Besharov, who was the luncheon speaker, carried the statistic farther in reporting on several federal surveys wliich revealed that one million children hi America are probably subjected to child abuse or neglect. "That's 1 in every 222 Americans or 1 in every 100 children. The reaction to these rather dramatic statistics -- 'it can't be, the government is making up those figures.' "Here are some more. There are 317,000 cases of child abuse reported in 22 states and 72,000 in the tri- counly area of Los Angeles-Orange and Riverside. I assure you these are realistic numbers, but people just can't accept the awfulness of such statistics. They make an incredible statement about the way we Americans live. "Existing efforts are limited and are bound to ·fail," he added. "We must broaden our scope to protect the child and prevent abuse on the part of . parents. We must educate people in the art of parenthood and coping with children." "Child abuse and neglect have roots in the way we live and relate to teach other as human beings. No amount of legislation is going to eradicate abuse without coming to grips with the human factor. No organi/jtion alone can solve the problems. "People arc a more potent force than all the federal grants. Child abuse is a deeply troubled problem that goes against all our cherished notions of family and parenthood. It's a symptom and consequence of family dysfunction." He said that until there is a family-oriented service system providing education in the basics of f a m i l y hygiene, the problem is going to remain." Prevention is a community process. Protective service agencies cannot build houses, cannot create jobs and cannot provide the pre-natal or day care needed. II takes all agencies working together to resolve the crisis." SGT. CAROL WALKER of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department reminded symposium participants that child protection is mandated by law and law enforcement agencies have specially trained investigators available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. "Incarceration and probation are worthless in most child abuse cases," she said. "These parents need treatment. All agencies involved in this area must work together, using all resources at their disposal." life/style B-6-JNDEPENDENT (AM) PRESS-TEtEGRAM (PM) Long Beach, Calll., Man., March 23. 19)4 head/ curiosity essential for success By LINDA ZINK Slaff Writer lx:t Ihe women's groups lament the lack of ·women in lei-hnical occupations and the educators -ponder Ihe problems of attracting more women into engineering. Karen Kauscn knows she's concocted a pretty sweet deal for herself. Ami she thinks olher women can do it loo. "It's a mistake for women to think (hat Just because something is scientific or technical they can'! do it," said the 21-year-old Mrs. Kauscn. "The idea of eleclronics, even electronics sales, tends to ;.frighten women off. But it shouldn't. '·· ·"·' "In n way, being a woman has some real advantages in Ihis type of work and I think there may be m o r e oppnrtimilies h e r e f o r women t h a n they re;ili/.c...maybe even more than for men. People are really very lrieiuily...and sometimes I think it really helps that I'm a woman." Mrs. Kauscn, who grew up in Fountain Valley ami later attended I/ong Beach State University, was ^ recently named vice president in charge of opera-i tions of liroom Electronics in Los Alamitos. A "small but growing" manufacturer's representative f i r m , liroom Electronics specializes in alarm, intercom and TV antenna systems. According to Mrs. Kausen, most of the firms accounts arc electronic contractors involved in new construction. It almost goes without saying that most of them are also men -- men who know their business and are surprised to find that a woman does, loo. "WHEN I FIRST started working, people would call in and automatically ask for Roy (Roy Broom, president of the company). They couldn't imagine that I would be able to help them. "Now most of the accounts feel confident about dealing directly with me. Last Friday, in fact, a couple of people called while Roy was answering the phone. When they found out I was gone they said they'd call back on Monday because they wanted to talk to me." M r s . Kausen, then recently married, began working part-time for Broom about a year and a half ago. It was a fluke that she got the job in the first place, she said, but it wasn't long until she realized the job's potential. After four months she quit her classes at LBSU Sec ENCOURAGES, Page B-7 JEAN MATUSINKA, deputy district attorney and president of the B o a r d of Directors of Parents Anonymous, said psychiatric treatment for the family often is a condition of probation for an abusing parent. "It's often more feasible to deal with these people in counseling rather than in the courts." CHECKING OVER STOCK is among responsibilities a s s u m e d by 21-year-old Karen Kauscn, vice president of Broom Electronics. Mrs. Kausen believes stock work is one of the best ways to learn the electronics business. Stall photo byTOUSHA W Newlywed couples travel near and far Thomas-Butler Patricia A n n B u t l e r , daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James 11. Butler of I-ong Beach, became the bride of Patrick Allin Thomas (luring a ceremony Saturday in Grace United Melh- odist Church. They are at home in Long Beach Claire Stefan was maid of h o n o r and Timothy Thomas was best man for the son of Mr. and Mrs. Chester R. T h o m a s of Maple Valley, Wash. The new Mrs. Thomas was graduated from Wilson High School and attends Long Beach C i t y College. Eslick-Scritchfield Honeymooning cnroute to their first home in Fort Carson, Colo., where the bridegroom is stationed with the U.S. A r m y are Pfc. and Mrs. David M. F,sliek (Teresa Scrilch- field). The couple exchanged marriage vows Saturday d u r i n g a ceremony in Long B e a c h Church of God. Mrs. Roger Dornan and LJoyrt J o n e s w e r e honor attendants for the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ken ScrilchJicId of Arlcsia and the son of Mr. and M r s . Joseph Eslick of Ixng Beach. The bride is a graduate of Gahr High School, Artesia, and her husband, an a l u m n u s of Polytechnic High School, attended San Diego S t a t e University where he was active in athletics. MRS. PATRICK THOMAS MRS. DAVID ESLICK MRS. JEFFREY MATHIEU MRS. C.D LAWRENCE Mathicu-Loifer Honeymooning in Miami Beach., F l a . , following their marriage Saturday are Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Paul Mathieu (Susan Ilenc Leifer). They will reside in Long Beach. B a r b a r a L e i f e r w a s m a i d of honor for the daughter of Mr. ami Mrs. Osc=- ,,. Leifer of Murrietta Hot Springs and Errol Mathieu attended the son of Mr. and Mrs. Claude Mathieu of Bellfiower. Both y o u n g p e r s o n s were graduated from Long B e a c h S t a t e University where both were on the Dean's List. Both also are m e m b e r s of California Park and Recreation Society and the bridegroom belongs to National Park and Recreation A s s o c i a - tion. The bride received early schooling at Millikan High; her husband is an alumnus of Pius X High, Downey. Lavvrence-Marstor W e s t m i n s t e r H i g h School graduates Tcri D i a n e M a r s t o n a n d Charles Daniel Lawrence Jr. exchanged w e d d i n g s-ows Saturday afternoon at St. Gregory's Episcopal Church. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Howard Marston of Westminster, the b r i d e was attended by Lisa Marston as maid of honor. Ken Lawrence was best man for the son of M r . a n d M r s . Charles Daniel Lawrence, also of Westminster. The newlyweds will reside in Hunlington Beach f o l l o w i n g a honeymoon trip to the mountains. The new Mrs. Lawrence is a student at Orange Coast College. Riddle-Boyle Our L a d y of Refuge Catholic Church was set- ling Saturday noon for the marriage ceremony join- ing Denisc Ann Boyle and Sam L. Riddle Jr. Karen Boyle was maid of honor for the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Boyle of fxmg Beach and R o b e r t Riddle attended the son of Mr. and Mrs. Sam L. Riddle, also of Long Beach. The newlyweds will live in Long Beach following a honeymoon at Las Vegas. B o t h y o u n g p e r s o n s w e r e g r a d u a t e d f r o m Millikan High School. The bridegroom currently attends Long Beach C i t y College. Wood-Austin Community Methodist C h u r c h of H u n t i n g t o n Beach was setting Saturday afternoon for the mar- r i a g e ceremony u n i t i n g Susan C. Austin and Richard B. Wood Daughter of Mr. and M r s . D o n a l d Austin of Garden Grove, the bride MRS RICHARD WOOD was attended by M a r y Burns as maid of honor. Tom Mohler was best man for the son of Mr. and Mrs. Barlow Wood of Seal Beach. Following a honeymoon t r i p to Big Bear, the new- lywcds will be at home in Huntington Reach. The new M r s Wood is a graduate of Bolsa Grande High School; her husband is an alumnus of Marina High.

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