Breaking the Cycle: Identifying Child Abuse & Preserving Families ~ Krystyna Brandt

Recently, professional football player Adrian Peterson was indicted on charges of negligent injury to his son, who is only 4 years old. Peterson released an emotional statement about the incident, disclosing:

“I never ever intended to harm my son… I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen. I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child. I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate.”

Psychologists often help parents learn and implement new methods of parenting and discipline. If parenting has become overwhelming, there are resources and support available—here, at the IPS Center for Psychological Services, and in the larger community.

Parents can choose to break old cycles by seeking help and learning new ways of interacting with their children. Admitting you need help takes courage, but doing so may help preserve your family.

Criteria for Child Abuse (according to Virginia State Law, source:

  • Alleged victim is under the age of 18 at the time of the report
  • Alleged abuser is in a caretaking role
  • Alleged abuse or neglect meets the definition of abuse or neglect as defined by the CPS laws, regulations and policy
  • The Virginia Department of Social Services local agency has jurisdiction to respond to the report

Hotline Numbers (source:

  • In Virginia: (800) 552-7096
  • Out-of-state: (804) 786-8536
  • Hearing-impaired: (800) 828-1120

The state of Virginia also offers programs throughPromoting Safe & Stable Families (PSSF)(, including:

  • Family Preservation
  • Family Support
  • Time-limited Family Reunification
  • Adoption Promotion and Support