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Child Abuse in the United States

Children suffer from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. Every year 3.3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving nearly 6 million children (a report can include multiple children). The United States has the worst record in the industrialized nation – losing five children every day due to abuse-related deaths. 1

General Statistics

  • A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds
  • *More than five children die every day as a result of child abuse.2
  • Approximately 80% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4. 1
  • It is estimated that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to child abuse are not recorded as the reason of death on death certificates. 3
  • More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way. 4
  • Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
  • About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse. 5
  • About 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder. 5
  • The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2008 is $124 billion. 6

Child Abuse & Criminal Behavior

  • 14% of all men in prison in the USA were abused as children. 7
  • 36% of all women in prison were abused as children. 7
  • Children who experience child abuse & neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30% more likely to commit violent crime. 5

Child Abuse Consequences

  • Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy. 5
  • Abused teens are less likely to practice safe sex, putting them at greater risk for STDs. 5

Child Abuse & Substance Abuse

  • One-third to two-thirds of child maltreatment cases involve substance use to some degree. 8
  • Children whose parents abuse alcohol and other drugs are three times more likely to be abused and more than four times more likely to be neglected than children from non-abusing families. 8
  • As many as two-thirds of the people in treatment for drug abuse reported being abused or neglected as children. 10

 

Facts You Should Know About Violence Against Children

Forms of Violence and Neglect Against Children


Signs of Violence Against Children


What Makes People Harm and Neglect Children

What You Can Do To Help

Reporting It

Resources To Help You

Purchase A Blue Ribbon

Violence against children is completely preventable!

It's Time To Break The Cycle of
Violence Against Children ... Before It Starts!

Sources

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. (2011). Child Maltreatment 2010. Available from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/index.htm#can
  2. United States Government Accountability Office, 2011. Child maltreatment: strengthening national data on child fatalities could aid in prevention (GAO-11-599). Retrieved from http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11599.pdf
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families Administration on Children, Youth and Families Children’s Bureau.Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities 2009: Statistics and Interventions. Retrieved from http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/fatality.pdf
  4. Snyder, Howard, N. (2000, July). Sexual assault of young children as reported to law enforcement: victim, incident, and offender characteristics. Retrieved from http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/saycrle.pdf
  5. Long - Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect. Child Welfare Information Gateway.Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006. Retrieved from http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/long_term_consequences.cfm
  6. Fang, X., et al. The economic burden of child maltreatment in the United States and implications for prevention. Child Abuse & Neglect (2012), doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2011.10.006 Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213411003140
  7. Harlow, C. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. (1999).Prior abuse reported by inmates and probationers (NCJ 172879) Retrieved from http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/parip.pdf
  8. Parental substance abuse. Retrieved from http://www.childwelfare.gov/can/factors/parentcaregiver/substance.cfm
  9. National Council on Child Abuse and Family Violence. Parental Substance Abuse A Major Factor In Child Abuse And Neglect. Retrieved from http://www.nccafv.org/parentalsubstanceabuse.htm
  10. Swan, N. (1998). Exploring the role of child abuse on later drug abuse: Researchers face broad gaps in information. NIDA Notes, 13(2). Retrieved from the National Institute on Drug Abuse website: www.nida.nih.gov/NIDA_Notes/NNVol13N2/exploring.html

 

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