Local News

Bragg Officials Respond To Report On Child Abuse In Military Families

Posted September 24, 2004

— Officials at Fort Bragg are speaking out after recent findings were released about military families and child abuse.

According to the

North Carolina Child Advocacy Institute

, children in military families in communities in Cumberland and Onslow counties are twice as likely to be killed by their parents or caregivers than other North Carolina families.

On Friday, Fort Bragg officials shared their thoughts. They question the numbers, but they agree child abuse is an issue.

"I think the only real difference in opinion here is how the numbers were counted. All the recommendations in the study have either already been taking place in the Department of Defense or we're in the process of implementing them," said Col. Al Aycock.

Fort Bragg offers a list of programs, including parenting classes, marriage counseling, anger management sessions and a boot camp for new dads.

Amy Cecchini, who is married to a soldier, said most importantly, units police child abuse themselves.

"It's kind of expected that the commanders be on top of their soldiers," she said.

Bragg officials plan to look into the problem further. They believe the study itself needs more studying. They want specifics, like the relationship between abuse and deployments.

The Defense Department said it is also studying the issue. It hopes to release its results soon.

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