Child Abuse and Neglect: America’s $124 billion problem

Child abuse and neglect is a public health problem of epidemic proportions in North Carolina and throughout this country. Nationally, an estimated 1 in 4 children experience some form of child abuse or neglect in their lifetimes.

According to Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina (PCANC) there were, “127,404 children with investigated reports of possible abuse and neglect in North Carolina from July 2016 to June 2017.” The trauma a child is exposed to when they are abused contributes to other public health issues that are currently impacting our communities. Every child that is abused is at higher risk of behavioral problems at school, depression, diabetes, obesity, substance abuse, and suicide. Ultimately, this not only impacts the individual but the overall health and well-being of the greater community at large. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in 2012 published a report showing child abuse and neglect cost the United States $124 billion.

Federal, state, and local public health agencies as well as policymakers must advance the awareness of the lifetime economic impact of child maltreatment and take immediate action with the same momentum and intensity dedicated to other high profile public health problems –in order to save lives, protect the public′s health, and save money” (Dr. Degutis, 2012).

To ensure the well-being of children and their families we must create a culture where child abuse is identified, treated, and prevented. Through education and training we can significantly reduce child abuse in North Carolina and the entire country. We can begin by breaking the silence about child abuse and neglect. Our children, families, and communities are counting on us to act and put an end to it.

Contact our Family Services Center at 704-376-7180 today for more information on resources that Thompson provides to help prevent child abuse in North Carolina.