In the 1970s, when Prevent Child Abuse America was founded, many people did not even believe that child abuse was a problem that even existed, much less one that could be prevented. Yet while Donna J. Stone was cobbling together a group of advocates to form our organization in 1972, a few hundred miles north a different woman was working to build a future in which all children have the great childhood they deserve.
Dr. Linda Garrity was born in Illinois to parents who had come from overseas to build a better future for their family in America. After receiving her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston in 1973, Dr. Garrity spent her professional career helping other families get off to a better start, just like her parents had done for her.
While working at a mental health facility in Madison, WI Dr. Garrity developed the Primary Prevention Project, a program focused on providing support to parents of newborns by teaching them the importance of positive early bonding. Her focus on not only on primary prevention but also the importance of attachment and bonding is a perfect example of the kind of vision that drove Dr. Garrity to invest in prevention when few others were and has helped shape the future that we live in today.
Dr. Garrity passed away surrounded by friends and loved ones in April. But Dr. Garrity wanted to continue impacting the futures of American children, just as she had done for her entire career. Before she passed, Dr. Garrity left enormous bequest to our organization in the hope that we would continue to focus on primary prevention in an effort to improve the lives of children and families across the United States.
In memory of Dr. Garrity and her vision for children, we will carry on her legacy. Her gift will go to support programs that invest in children early and promote the bonding and attachment that lead to lifelong, healthy relationships. Dr. Garrity was the personification of our message and mission, and we are eternally grateful for her vision and dedication to the next generation.
In memory of Dr. Linda I. Garrity