We have seen a 3 percent growth in child abuse and neglect in the past year.

While these numbers are still lower than the levels seen in the early ’90s, this is the second increase in two years! As prevention programs face budget cuts locally and nationally, we are concerned with this rate of growth.

We must keep in mind that the stress caused by economic downturn coupled with war can put a dangerous strain on families, increasing the risk of child abuse and neglect. As reports of child maltreatment grow during these uncertain times, our need for prevention becomes even more critical.

There are prevention programs making a difference right now, today, in our communities and throughout Maine. Unfortunately, limited funding puts many programs at risk.

We must continue supporting our local prevention programs. Together, we can make our community a safer place to live.

Remember, a child is helpless. We are not!

Barbara J. Lovejoy,

community relations coordinator

Advocates for Children, Auburn

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