As parents feel financial pressure from inflation, children carrying the burden

Reporter: Taylor Wirtz Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:

Making ends meet is a lot harder than it was even six months ago.

Gas prices are soaring and groceries seem to have doubled in cost.

Parents are struggling. Close to two-thirds of families are living paycheck to paycheck.

Local advocates say they are seeing more children suffer some kind of trauma at home and fear parents are taking their stress out on their children.

But Linda Goldfield of Youth Haven in Collier County said they are not the only ones that are struggling.

“When families are under economic stress, it can result in increased violence in the home, increased conflict. And oftentimes the children suffer from that abuse. So the children that are coming to Youth Haven are suffering from more and more severe trauma,” Goldfield said.

Matthew Parkinson, with the Children’s Advocacy Center, fears a correlation between inflation and abuse.

“Anytime you have something like a housing crisis, or you know, the economy is kind of in peril, you do see some risk factors within these families,” Parkinson said.

Sometimes the violence is obvious. But now they’re seeing kids who are suffering all kinds of ways.

“I think when we think child abuse, everyone thinks of the big ones, you know, physical abuse, sexual abuse, things like that. But really, child abuse encompasses neglect, you know, and whether it’s willful neglect or just, you know, unintentional neglect,” Parkinson said.

Yossy Rives, residential manager for the Shelter for Abused Women & Children, sees the obvious and the hidden trauma daily at the shelter.

“A lot of the times, especially the little boys, when they come in, they act a lot like they’re the abuser. When they first come in, you know, they have a lot of behavioral issues, you know, emotional struggles, and they will treat their mom, like the abuser treated the mom. And that’s just because that’s what they’ve seen,” Rives said. “I think the biggest challenge is that, that affordable housing and housing that’s accessible, even if it’s affordable, is it accessible, and giving people the opportunity to have a chance to move forward in their life.”

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