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Child Advocates Say N.C. Abuse Rates On The Rise

State children's advocates say statistics are showing a rise in reports of child abuse cases.

Organizations that track these cases say results can be deadly if left uninvestigated. President of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina Rosie Allen Ryan said at one point there were 125 thousand reported cases annually in the state.

Rosie Allen Ryan: "And then this past set of data that we have shows an increase up to 129-thousand."

Authorities verify only one in four of those cases. At the same time many incidents go unreported. Spokeswoman Maureen McKeon say that's why people must report any suspicions to D-S-S.

Maureen McKeon: "Because they do have people trained to talk to the family and to elicit that information. And if you have a reasonable suspicion you're never going to get in trouble for referring a family."

McKeon says kids who are withdrawn, bruised or fear parents or caretakers are possibly being abused.

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