Local News

Children In Military Families At High Risk Of Child Abuse

Posted September 23, 2004

— Over the past year, three Fort Bragg soldiers have been accused of abusing their children. In some cases, officials say the abuse has led to death. The

North Carolina Child Advocacy Institute

, a nonprofit organization based in Raleigh, said there is proof children in military families may be at higher risk than other children in the state.

Research shows kids in Cumberland County, where Fort Bragg is, and Onslow County, where Camp Lejeune is, are twice as likely to be killed by their parents.

"More needs to be done. If we had the answers, we'd be announcing them, but we don't," said Tom Vitaglione, of the N.C. Child Advocacy Institute. "What we want to announce is that there's a problem and that together, we'd like to work together to fix this."

The Institute tallied the results two years ago and say the Department of Defense has done a lot to address the problem since then, but researchers claim the numbers are not changing for the better.

Many military families support efforts on post to stop the rise of abuse cases.

"They do have a lot of places to go. If you think somebody's getting abused, they look into it completely, and they do a whole investigation on it," military parent Dawn Lindsay said.

Fort Bragg continues to provide services and programs addressing domestic violence and child abuse. Bragg officials issued a statement, saying they disagree with the conclusions of the study and plan to respond Friday.

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