Local incident sheds light on tough topic of child abuse

Local incident sheds light on tough topic of child abuse

The arrest of a local foster mother it’s shedding light on the tough topic of child abuse.

Erica Dorsh, 31, told authorities she didn’t know what snapped in her after she severely beat her foster child.

Sharyl Kato , the executive director of the Rainbow Project, won’t comment on the case specifically but said stressful situations can lead to abuse, and parents need to learn coping skills.

Inside a Dane County court room Tuesday, more than a dozen supporters of Dorsch held signs that read cherished, deserving and beloved mom.

“She’s my goal if I ever have the joy to become a mom,” one supporter said.

“We are here because we love Erica,” said another.

However, the criminal complaint detailing a violent outburst on Jan. 27 in which Dorsch repeatedly slammed a 3-year-old foster child on the floor after he allegedly lied to her paints a different picture.

“It is definitely a tragedy,” Kato said.

Kato works with children and families who’ve experienced trauma, and said simply learning how to manage the everyday stresses of parenting can prevent abuse.

“You need to find ways to solve problems and cope with problems, rather than taking your frustrations out on your children,” Kato said.

She said having realistic expectations of your child’s behavior, knowing what sets you off and how to deal with it and arming yourself with knowledge are all great tools.

“Countries that have lower incidents of child abuse really do have access to lots of developmental information on children and what to expect at certain ages,” Kato said.

Most importantly, Kato said to remember that you are not alone and it is OK to vent about challenges you might be facing.

“Sometime those phone lines can be a really important life line,” Kato said.

If you’d like to seek help or learn more about counseling go to http://therainbowproject.net/.