Local News

Fort Bragg Officials Look At Ways To Stop Child Abuse Among Ranks

Posted April 1, 2004

— The topic of child abuse brought dozens of people to Fort Bragg Thursday. Over the past years, a number of soldiers were arrested on charges of abuse and neglect. Now, officials want to stop the lingering problem.

Joshua Noriega

and his wife are charged with killing their 4-year-old son. Investigators say

Rebecca Toney

put her toddler in scalding liquid.

John Murphy

is accused of attempted murder for allegedly shaking a 9-week-old.

Daniel Carlson

and his wife face charges in the death of her 2-year-old.

"When you think about all these children were killed at the hand of someone who most likely loved them at one time during their life, it's a very saddening thought," Garrison Cmdr. Al Aycock said.

Bragg officials said some of the cases could be linked to stress due to emotional and financial pressures, along with deployment.

"We know that we ask a lot of soldiers when those soldiers have to deploy and we put them into dangerous conditions when they do deploy," Aycock said.

Fort Bragg officials said they continue to look for ways to fight the problem with child abuse in the ranks.

"I cannot change anyone's behavior. The only thing I can do is afford an individual the opportunity to change his or her behavior," family advocate Henry Berry said.

Fort Bragg offers a list of classes aimed at reducing stress, but according to family advocates on post, the real problem is getting violent parents to recognize they need help.

According to the North Carolina Department of Social Services, in 2002, some 107,000 child abuse claims were investigated. Around 30,000 of those cases were confirmed and nearly half of those abuse cases involved children under six years of age.

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