Child abuse is a major cause of concern in our society. Despite increased awareness of the problem, many children still suffer abuse at the hands of their parents and guardians. Child abuse happens in families of all races, religions, social circles, and economic classes. Although any parent is likely to become frustrated or angry with their children, most are able to deal with these emotions without resorting to violence. However, when parents lack the coping mechanisms necessary to deal with their anger appropriately, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of children may result. Abusive parents tend to be emotionally isolated, and often misunderstand what constitutes realistic child behavior. This may be because the parents were themselves abused as children, and as a result, they never learned what constitutes a proper relationship between a parent and a child. Alcohol and drug abuse can also be contributing factors to abuse. Since the consequences of child abuse can be severe, sometimes even fatal, it's vital that all suspected cases be reported to the proper authorities. Usually, the person reporting the abuse can remain anonymous. Help is available to both parents and children caught in an abusive family, and often includes counseling, parenting classes, and self-help groups such as Parents Anonymous. For more information about child abuse, consult a local health care professional.