In the 1960′s, emergency room doctors began to talk about children coming in to hospitals with both recent and past physical injuries. This was not a new phenomenon, but the occurrence was given a name – “battered child syndrome.” It was thought to be a limited problem.
In the early 1970′s, the U.S. Congress mandated that each state form a committee to explore their state’s frequency of and response to child abuse and neglect. Groups across the nation found that child abuse was more common than anticipated. Many groups saw the need for further action. In 1979, members of North Carolina’s committee founded Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina.
In its early years, Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina focused its work in two key areas: raising public awareness about child abuse and neglect and helping communities respond to abuse and prevent a second occurrence. This work was key to helping each community in North Carolina develop the ability to protect children from abuse.
Now, more than thirty years later, Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina is using the latest research to help communities strategize to prevent abuse before it ever occurs. We are leading the state, along with partners like North Carolina Smart Start, the North Carolina Division of Social Services, and the North Carolina Department of Public Health, in implementing evidence-based prevention programs – programs that are scientifically proven to prevent abuse before it occurs.