Breaking the Cycle

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The Spokesman Review (Spokane, Wash.)

Studies show that about one in four childhood victims of abuse are likely to abuse or neglect their own children. Those statistics, in part, were the reason the Washington state child welfare agency removed the first-born son of Malcom and Rebecca Engle before the infant left the hospital.

The agency believed that Malcom’s history as both a victim and perpetrator of incest, as well as his history of abuse, neglect, psychiatric disorders and more than 20 out-of-home placements, put him at very high risk of being an abusive father. But neither child welfare experts, nor reams of the agency’s documentation about Malcolm’s past, can predict whether he would abuse his son. April 3,