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It takes much neglect, rejection, humiliation, physical maltreatment and sexual abuse to transform a tiny, trusting, innocent human being into a callous, cruel, and vicious person. This paper examines some of the factors that lead to the development of the violent personality from conception on. It is suggested that the answer to violence is not state violence. The answer is conscious pre and postnatal parenting supported by social institutions, laws, and practices which attend to the needs of pregnant parents, particularly, the disadvantaged. Our motto should be: BUILD BABIES NOT JAILS.
This article is excerpted from the opening address delivered at the 7th International Congress of APPPAH, San Francisco, September 28, 1995.
Editor's Note: This article was suggested by Dr. Verny for inclusion in this special anniversary edition of JOPPPAH. It is as relevant and timely today as when it was first printed in the Winter, 1995, 10(2) edition.