Preventing Child Abuse

This week and next we’ll hear from Sharon Hirsch, President and CEO (Chief Executive Optimist) of Prevent Child Abuse NC (PCANC). Sharon has been an advocate for kids for a very long time and now has taken her soft-spoken leadership skills to this North Carolina chapter of the national Prevent Child Abuse organization.

Sharon Hirsch

Sharon Hirsch, President & CEO of Prevent Child Abuse NC

Sharon says there is a building body of evidence that says child abuse is not only damaging and traumatic in the immediate situation, but also has long range ill effects. Persistent child abuse can actually be directly connected with the development of heart disease, diabetes and chronic illnesses that reduce life expectancy.

The good news is there is a LOT we can do, from little things to great big ones, to prevent child abuse. From individuals to nonprofits – churches – employers – schools – government. These aren’t experiments — these are things we know will work to give kids safe and strong childhoods that deliver them into secure, well-balanced, happy adulthood.

The most important thing to do is help families. When you support a family (we’ll talk about many ways to do this) you help kids stay healthy and safe.

You can follow Sharon on Twitter @PCANC_CEO. Visit the organization’s website at

Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina Comes To Chapel Hill

CHAPEL HILL – Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina will hold its Fall For Children Fundraiser this Sunday at the Chapel Hill Country Club from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Jeremy Salemson, of Corporate Investors Mortgage Group, says Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina is the only state-wide organization that spreads awareness about child abuse and help set up support programs in all 100 counties.

“A very important event this Sunday, this is our third annual event for Fall for Children, this is an event that helps raise money and helps raise awareness for a cause and an organization that does great work throughout the state of North Carolina” Salemson says.

VP of External Relations for PCANC, Maureen McKeon, says that child abuse can be very dangerous and scarring for children.

“The stress of living in an abusive environment and not having the safe, stable, nurturing, supportive relations that they need causes toxic chemicals to be released in their brains and their bodies that physical damage them and result in long term health conditions” McKeon says.

Providing resources and support programs for families can help reduce child abuse.  McKeon says she thinks child abuse can be completely avoided.

“Absolutely, when communities have factors in place, components in place, they’re called protective factors, they’ve been proven through research to prevent abuse and neglect from ever occurring at all. These are things like making sure that parents have the support they need, the resources they need, access to quality children, access to parenting resources, access to knowledge that  helps them acquire the skills they need” McKeon states.

The money raised during the fundraiser on Sunday will go towards helping families prevent child abuse.

For more information on Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina click here.