When I worked as a counselor in the Safe Harbor shelter, I remember one particular Christmas season when four year old “Stevie” arrived with his mom, “Katherine”. Stevie’s biggest desire was to go to school with a backpack. Even though he wasn’t old enough to go to school, we gave him a superhero backpack. He wore it everywhere. I will never forget the pride that Stevie had when he walked through the shelter with his backpack.
Katherine returned from the store one afternoon and explained that she was going to temporarily take Stevie’s backpack away from him. Apparently, Stevie had stuffed some candy in his backpack without her knowledge. As she removed the backpack from his hands, Stevie yelled a vicious stream of expletives while kicking and slamming his head on the floor. It was clear that, although he had not been physically abused, Stevie had witnessed countless incidents where his dad behaved similarly.