A decade ago, Action for Children North Carolina studied the incidence of homicide of a young child by a parent or caregiver in North Carolina. The findings of that report indicated child abuse homicide rates in Cumberland and Onslow counties, home of the largest military installations in the state, were twice the state average. Additional analysis found children in active duty military families in Cumberland and Onslow faced higher risk of child abuse homicide than their peers.
Collateral Damage on the Home Front: Ten Years Later, performs a ten-year update of that earlier report. Findings indicate:
- Between 2001 and 2010, there were 251 homicides by parent/caregiver of children from birth through ten years of age in North Carolina. That computes to a rate of 1.9 deaths per 100,000 children. That represents a 13.6% decline from the 1985-2000 period.
- There were 22 HPCs in Cumberland and 11 in Onslow during the 2001-2010 period. Cumberland and Onslow account for 2% of the counties, 6% of young children under age 10, and 13% of the HPCs in the state.
- Though their HPC rates remain twice the state rate, the rate for Cumberland declined by 11.3% during the period. The rate for Onslow declined by 5.4%.
While these data indicate supports enacted by the military and local social service departments have resulted in encouraging progress in efforts to reduce child abuse homicides in military families, there is still much work to be done.