News Stories

Child Abuse in the Military

Newswise - The Department of Defense is investigating the high rates ofchild abuse and homicides at military installations acrossthe nation. Children living in military bases are twice aslikely to be killed by a parent or caregiver than otherchildren. Is this because military parents, who are schooledin violence, are more violent towards their kids? No oneknows for sure.

The study examined all cases of child abuse in NorthCarolina from 1985 to 2000, in children from infancy throughage 10. Four military installations (Ft. Bragg, Pope AirForce Base, Camp Lejeune and New River Air Station) are inthe two counties with the highest child death rates. Childabuse homicide is defined as the killing of a child by aparent or other person responsible for its health orwelfare. Military families are defined as those with one orboth parents on active duty.

"In this study period, the long-term patterns of child abusehomicides are not [a] coincidence," says psychologist MarciaHerman-Geddens, who conducted the study. "They suggestproblems in and around North Carolina military families andmilitary communities that predictably result in aconsistently higher number and rate of child abuse homicidesthan in non-military communities."

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