Stop Abuse Campaign calls for investment in abuse prevention programs that prevent murders like Jeremiah Mitchell’s.

(Rochester, NY) The Stop Abuse Campaign, a national organization that prevents child abuse and trauma through public policy and education, is calling on Governor Cuomo and the NY legislature to fund Maternal Home Visiting (MHV) programs that prevent tragedies like Jeremiah Mitchell’s murder.

Jeremiah Mitchell’s mother, Markiya Mitchell, is being charged with the murder of her son after intentionally filling a bathtub with water and leaving him alone in it for hours.

“We know child abuse, neglect, abandonment and murder are linked to a mother’s stress level and trauma history. Those things interfere with her ability to bond with her child. It’s easy to identify which mothers are at the greatest risk for maltreating their babies, and Maternal Home Visiting programs provide these mothers with support to enable them to bond with and successfully parent their baby” says Melanie Blow, COO of the Stop Abuse Campaign.

“The CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experience study shows that abuse can never be undone. Abused children live shorter, less healthy lives and contribute less to society. Maternal Home Visiting programs, such as Healthy Families NY, Nurse Family Partners and Parents as Teachers save taxpayer money by preventing the increased health care, special education services, juvenile delinquency and the direct costs of CPS investigations,” says Andrew Willis, CEO of the Stop Abuse Campaign.

“We have a problem, Jeremiah Mitchell is another example of that problem. We have evidence based solutions too. Solutions which provide a return on investment for taxpayers in their first year. New York’s shame is these voluntary programs aren’t available for most eligible mothers. If we are to protect children like Jeremiah Mitchell, then Governor Cuomo and the New York Legislature need to invest in universal access to Maternal Home Visiting programs, which save taxpayers money and save children’s lives and futures ” says Andrew Willis, CEO of the Stop Abuse Campaign.

“According to the Schuyler Center for Advocacy and Analysis, only 5% of willing and eligible New York families have access to the evidence based Maternal Home Visiting programs that break the cycle of poverty and trauma in our families. These programs can play a crucial role in reducing CPS caseloads, poor educational performance, delinquency and many other things. And Albany has kept them flat-funded for over a decade. Now is the time that our representatives in Albany increase funding for these programs ” says Ms. Blow.