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Charlotte Talks: Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect

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Thursday April 5, 2018

On Charlotte Talks, we took a look at the rising incidence of child abuse and what is being done to turn this trend around and get help for the children who need it most.  

April is National Child Abuse Prevention month, and here in Charlotte representatives from more than a dozen agencies in charge with helping children have combined forces to raise awareness about this issue. Their method … the pinwheel garden.

Since 2008, the pinwheel has been the symbol of child abuse and neglect prevention. According toPrevent Child Abuse America, a national coalition of doctors and advocates, the pinwheel symbolizes the “stable, healthy, and protected childhood all children deserve.” 

The need for awareness has never been greater. Child neglect is up 38 percent from a decade ago with nearly 40 percent of children being abused under the age of six.  These are national figures.  What is the situation in Charlotte? 

We sat down with several people working in the field to get the answer to that question and a clearer picture of what’s being done to reduce abuse and help those being victimized.

"One of the things that is really striking about our state is that we don't have a state plan to prevent child abuse and neglect, and local communities don't have plans in place to prevent abuse. I believe that when we fail to plan, we plan to fail our kids."
Sharon Hirsch on the importance of prevention.


Bob Simmons, executive director Council for Children’s Rights and chair of the Mecklenburg Child Fatality Prevention and Protection Team

Janet Harmon, director of outreach and education atPat’s Place Child Advocacy Center

Jacquelyn McKnight, deputy director for Child and Family Services at DSS

Sharon Hirsch, president and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina

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