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Child Abuse Prevention Month: Recession Effects Trickle Down to NM Kids

April 27, 2009

Santa Fe, NM – While the news over the past year has been bad, there's an even darker side to the current recession in New Mexico and nationwide. In the final few days of April, which is Child Abuse Prevention Month, Elizabeth Davis-Pratt with the Children's Defense Fund is shining a light on the fact that cases of child abuse and neglect rise when the economy heads south.

"It is not really surprising that in times of economic distress, families feel increased stress, and that can result in increased victimization of children."

She says the extra stress associated with losing a job or the possibility of foreclosure sometimes is taken out on children. More than 2,300 cases of child abuse or neglect were reported in New Mexico between July and October of 2008.

New Mexicans can help in many ways, Davis-Pratt says.

"Everybody can do their part. You can reach out and mentor parents with young children, reach out to public agencies or non-profits and volunteer or donate supplies."

State-by-state child-welfare data is available at www.cyfd.org.


Eric Mack, Public News Service - NM