Preventing Child Abuse

The state had more than 6,500 victims of child abuse and neglect last year and almost half of those victims were 5 years old or younger.

Thursday, December 27 at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.1

How can New Mexico combat child abuse? The state had more than 6,500 victims of child abuse and neglect last year and almost half of those victims were 5 years old or younger. The child injury death rate in the state is 1.5 times higher than the national average. In most cases, biological parents caused those deaths.

Yet, experts say child abuse is totally preventable. In this month’s Public Square, we talk with doctors, advocates, home visitors and law enforcement about what it would take to make that a reality.

Community leaders include State Senator Mary Jane Garcia, Yolanda A. Berumen-Deines, secretary of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, and Jared Rounsville, protective services director for Children, Youth and Families Department.

Join New Mexico PBS for a PUBLIC SQUARE, where civic dialogue takes center stage. Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. PUBLIC SQUARE is hosted & produced by Megan Kamerick.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

“If there was anything else in our health system so glaring we would have a cure, but we don’t for child abuse.”
–Angie Vachio, Child and family advocate

“In this state we spend $135 million after the event and $3 million on prevention. That should be turned around.”
–Dr. Susan Miller, Director, New Mexico Child Abuse Prevention Program

“This is about giving children who don’t have a voice opportunity, and then we all benefit. We all live in a better place if our children are better off.”
–Kim Straus, Brindle Foundation

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

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