Groups aim to combat child abuse - WNCN: News, Weather

Groups aim to combat child abuse

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Child abuse affects hundreds of children in Eastern Carolina every year.

Tedi Bear is an East Carolina University program devoted to helping children who have been sexually and physically abused.

Tedi Bear also tries to educate the public about child abuse through classes like Stewards of Children, a free class that any adult can take.

"We target child care providers, schools, churches, places that work with children in particular to get this message out there," said Kelly Baxter, the Community Educator for Tedi Bear.

Pitt County is one of the eastern counties to utilize social workers in the schools. Cassandra Campbell is one of the social workers who trains school employees to look out for signs of abuse, like changed behavior and physical bruises and cuts.

"I have found over the 20 some years that I've been doing this that children will tell," Campbell said. "But they just need to feel safe and secure when giving information."

Tedi Bear helps between 600 and 800 children every year across the east.

Julie Gill is the director of the group and says advocacy centers are essential.

"Prior to advocacy centers, children were basically re-interviewed and re-examined and taken from place to place, and that itself became abusive," said Gill.

North Carolina requires anyone over the age of 18 to report any suspected cases of child abuse to the police.

Campbell wants to ensure everyone knows that abuse can strike any child.

"It doesn't matter what the profession is. It doesn't matter how much money you make," Campbell said. "It crosses the board. It's a human issue."

Fore more information about Tedi Bear and the classes they offer, visit their website.

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