Local News

Education Key To Preventing Child Abuse

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Charges against a Fayetteville man accused of beating his infant son have been upgraded to murder.

Fayetteville police have charged Travis Lipscomb with murder in the beating death of his two-month-old son, Riley. According to investigators, it happened Thursday afternoon while Lipscomb babysat the infant in a Bonnie Doone home.

"Our community does have a high rate of child abuse, and this was an area that we could support," said Dell Marie-Pittman, president of Fayetteville's Junior League, which operates the city's Child Abuse Hotline.

Marie-Pittman said child abuse and neglect happens too often in Cumberland County.

"Being a parent, I think is the biggest job that we will ever have and unfortunately it's the job we have the least education for," Marie-Pittman said.

Despite the Lipscomb case, there are fewer people heading to the Cumberland County jail for child abuse. State numbers show the trend in Cumberland County is actually going down.

According to one study in 1999, there were close to 3,000 substantiated cases of child abuse in Cumberland County. The following year, that number dropped to below 2,000 cases and in 2001, the number dropped to under 1,400.

Dr. Robin Jenkins of Communicare said the key to tackling child abuse is education. He claims that could have helped save the life of Riley Lipscomb.

"This was a case that clearly if adequate parenting knowledge had been in place, there might have been troubles, but the child may not have been medically damaged," he said.

Lipscomb is in the Cumberland County jail on a $150,000 bond.