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Child Abuse

Abuse Statistics

10/28/2002

Question:

Today how many out of 10 kids are getting abused?

Answer:

Child abuse is a problem that touches the lives of thousands of children each year. National statistics are staggering despite a concerted effort to eliminate child abuse as a source of morbidity and mortality for children. However, when talking about the prevalence of child abuse, we must consider all types of abuse including sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect. According to statistics provided by the Child Welfare Information Gateway web-site, over 870,000 children were victims of abuse or neglect in the United States in 2000. That is a rate of about 12.2 children per every thousand. About 63% were victims of neglect, 19% were victims of physical abuse and 10% were victims of sexual abuse. Children between the ages of newborn to 3 years of age had the highest victimization rates at 15.7 per 1000 children. Rates of abuse declined thereafter as the age of the children increased. The rate of victimization was similar for males compared to females (11.2 and 12.8 per thousand respectively) except for victims of sexual abuse. The rate of victimization for sexual abuse was 1.7 per thousand female children versus 0.4 per thousand male children. In 2000, Prevent Child Abuse America estimates that 1,356 children died as a result from child abuse and neglect. That's a rate of approximately 4 children every day in the United States. Children under the age of five accounted for 4 out of every five deaths from child abuse and neglect. In children ages 1-4, child abuse is the second leading cause of death behind only congenital anomalies. More information about child abuse and neglect including the statistics mentioned above can be found at the web-site for the Child Welfare Information Gateway below.

Marcus DeGraw, MD Child Abuse Fellow

Related Resources:

Child Welfare Information Gateway

For more information:

Go to the Child Abuse health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Robert Shapiro, MD
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati