Poverty, Substance Abuse Contribute to WV County's High Child Abuse Rate

Mercer County officials say substance abuse and poverty contribute to the county's high rate of child abuse and neglect cases.

West Virginia Public Radio reports that more than 100 Mercer County children received help from a child advocacy center from July to December last year. During that period, a total 869 children across the state received such help.

Currently, 141 investigations are under way in Mercer County.

Mercer County Child Protect Executive Director Shiloh Woodard says the county's poverty rate is above average. There's also a significant link between child abuse and substance abuse.

Woodard says child abuse also is generational in the county. People don't understand when they cross the line because that's how they were raised.

©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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