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Health Team

Solutions to child abuse problems require team effort, NC group says

Posted July 12
Updated July 13

— Child abuse and neglect leads to long-term social, emotional and health consequences, according to leaders of a North Carolina organization looking to stop abuse.

Prevent Child Abuse NC said that a lifetime of estimated costs associated with just one year of confirmed cases of child maltreatment is $2 billion in North Carolina alone. That's only part of the reason why the group wants to help more children avoid these problems.

Events across the state this week use pinwheels to symbolize what childhood ought to be: full of joy and innocence. Too often, though, child abuse and neglect shatters that ideal.

The trailer for a documentary called "Resilience," points out that large percentages of children have adverse childhood experiences—or ACEs—which include physical abuse, substance abuse, domestic violence and sexual abuse.

Sharon Hirsch, CEO and president of Prevent Child Abuse NC, said the problem cuts across all socio-economic, racial and political lines.

"The problems increase a child's risk for health issues like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression and addiction," Hirsch said.

Those problems impact our education, healthcare and criminal justice systems.Hirsch believes the problems are not unsolvable.

She says solutions require more government, community and business support.

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