NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A new report was released Tuesday on the extent of child abuse in New York state.
WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Story
According to the report from the organization Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 77,000 children in New York were confirmed victims of abuse and neglect in 2010. 114 of them died.
“That’s the last year for which we have data,” Meredith Wiley, the organization’s state director, told reporters. “If you want to call it an epidemic, it is an epidemic in spades.”
She also said it’s a crime that is largely under-reported.
“So, 230,000 children in New York state every year are probably abused and neglected,” she said.
Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan said the consequences of child abuse can be severe.
“Children who are victims of abuse are more likely to be involved in the criminal justice system later on in life,” he said.
Wiley joined with Donovan, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, and Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes to call on state lawmakers to increase funding for programs to support families in crisis.
One of those programs is the Nurse Family Partnership, which, according to its website, “helps transform the lives of vulnerable first-time moms and their babies.”
That is accomplished through ongoing home visits from registered nurses. The Nurse Family Partnership has helped 400 new Brooklyn moms
Research shows that home visiting programs for new moms can cut the incidence of child abuse in half, Diamond reported.
“If I didn’t have my nurse, it would be so many things I would panic and lose my mind about,” said Natasia Gurley, who entered the program when she was pregnant.
“You get frustrated. You have a screaming baby. You’re not used to your sleep being broken. This is who you call up,” Gurley said.
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