The National Foundation to End Child Abuse and Neglect kicks off national effort bringing new approach to one of society’s greatest problems

Research!America survey shows strong public support for research, training and prevention

DENVER - June 18, 2018 - The fight to end child abuse and neglect has a new champion today. The State of Colorado was the first to welcome The National Foundation to End Child Abuse and Neglect (EndCAN) to the effort. EndCAN aims to change the way we discuss child abuse by changing the conversation and focusing on the health impact of abuse and neglect. “Colorado is proud to introduce EndCAN as it takes a fresh approach to addressing one of society’s toughest challenges,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “It’s clear the impact of child abuse and neglect goes far beyond one individual or family but to an entire community. It is not just a social and legal issue, but a major health, mental health and public health problem. The approach that EndCAN will bring to this issue is sure to make a difference.”

EndCAN’s co-founders know first-hand the lifelong effort it takes to combat child abuse and neglect. Lori Poland was three years old when she was abducted, sexually abused and found three days later alone in an outhouse. Richard Krugman, MD, was Lori’s doctor then and now her business partner. Together, they are launching EndCAN because they see a critical missing piece in the efforts to address child abuse and neglect.

“Surviving an incident of abuse is just the first step,” said Lori Poland, EndCAN co-founder. “Those touched by this type of trauma face greater health risks than just the mental anguish that can change one’s life.”

“When society takes a broader view of the issue, there’s no way to miss the public health impact of abuse and neglect,” said Richard Krugman, MD, End-CAN co-founder and Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “The model that foundations have taken to address polio, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and every other major malady of childhood has never been done for child abuse and neglect. We are 50 years behind in understanding the causes and changing the outcomes for abused and neglected children.”

EndCAN will support research, training, prevention and advocate for interventions for children and their families that are effective and ameliorate the adverse effect of childhood abuse and neglect.

Research!America teamed up with EndCAN to gauge public opinion on the public health impact of child abuse and neglect. Survey results release today found that a strong majority of Americans view child abuse and neglect as a public health problem in the United States, a sentiment shared across populations with 81% of Hispanics, 76% of non-Hispanic whites, 74% of African-Americans and 67% of Asians in agreement. In addition, respondents say child abuse and neglect is a problem in their local communities – 65% of Hispanics, 60% of African-Americans, 56% of non-Hispanic whites and 54% of Asians.

“The survey reveals that child abuse and neglect is all too pervasive and must be addressed as a public health problem,” said Mary Woolley, president and CEO, Research!America. “Robust funding for research and public health programs is essential in order to ensure evidence-based strategies are being deployed to protect children and families at risk.”

As we have learned today, the public sees child abuse and neglect as great a health problem as obesity, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Yet no national organization exists to raise funds for research to focus on abuse and neglect as a health issue in addition to dealing with it in our social welfare and criminal justice systems. Our mission is: To End Child Abuse and Neglect in our lifetime. To do this we will change the public conversation in how we talk about abuse and neglect, incent new alignments between our social welfare, criminal justice and health systems, and jointly fund research with existing health foundations so we know what works to protect our nation’s families and children.

EndCAN is committed to collaborating with all the national agencies and organizations working tirelessly to prevent abuse and neglect. www.endcan.org