Statistics and facts on abuse in America*
It’s easy to read statistics without grasping the human suffering behind the numbers. Each number represents a human life. Each life touches hundreds of other lives. The ramifications of child abuse and neglect are exponential. Whether you realize it or not, you and everyone you know is affected by this issue. Please work with us to make a change in these very cold and sobering numbers.
A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds.
Five children die everyday as a result of child abuse. More than three out of four are under the age of 4.
It is estimated that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to child maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates.
90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way; 68% are abused by family members.
Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
36% percent of women in prison in the United States were abused as children.
Over 66.7% of people in drug rehabilitation centers report being abused or neglected as a child.
About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.
About 80% of 21 year old that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2008 is $124 billion.
Child abuse statistics vary from source to source; whatever the number, any aspect of child abuse is catastrophic. Through our research we have found numerous ways for statistics on abuse to be presented including by type of abuse, gender, ethnicity, demographic, geographic location, socioeconomic status, etc.
Within the United States child abuse is a growing problem. The statistics related to child abuse and neglect are alarming and difficult to comprehend, especially when one realizes that each number represents an innocent human being. These growing statistics bring to the forefront the need for the American SPCC and the involvement of our community to prevent such occurrences of abuse in the future.
The statistics used below are from the following sources that can be viewed by clicking here.
National Overview Every six seconds a child is abused. In 2009, there were 21 substantiated child maltreatment reports per 1,000 children under the age of 1 in the United States. Overall, abuse cases were 17.6 % physical, 78.3% neglect, 2.4% medical, 9.2% sexual, 8.1% psychological, 10.3% other and 0.3% unknown.
“[A] nationally estimated 1,560 children…died from abuse and neglect, [which is a rate of 2.07 per 100,000 children].” In the U.S., 5 children die each day from abuse or neglect, and more than 3 out of 4 are under the age of 4.
Younger children are the most vulnerable. One-third of abused children were under 4 years of age and one-fifth 4-7 years. Children under 1 had the highest victimization rate at 20.6 per 1,000 children of that age. Typically, the higher the age, the lower the rate of victimization. Regarding race/ethnicity, child abuse and neglect occurs most among White (44.8%), African-American (21.9%) and Hispanic (21.4%).
Statistics continue to show that a child abuse victim is at high risk of suffering repeated abuse or neglect. Through the Child and Family Services Review, the Children’s Bureau has established the current national standard for recurrence as 94.6%.
30% of U.S. students in grades 6 through 10 are involved in bullying as bullies, victims, or both. 1 out of 4 kids are bullied in this country every month, more than 43% of middle schools students (grade 6-8) have threatened to harm another student, children who bully by age 8 are 4 times as likely to have a criminal record by age 30, and it is estimated 160,000 American children miss school every day due to fear of bullying.
Studies have found abused and neglected children to be at least 25% more likely to experience problems such as delinquency, teen pregnancy, low academic achievement, drug use and mental health problems. One study showed by age 21, as many as 80% of the abused met diagnostic criteria for a psychiatric disorder such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and suicide attempts.
The U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Statistics reported that 10% of men and 50% of women who were incarcerated had been physically or sexually abused as a child. Also, about 12% of those in jail had lived in a foster home or institution. A national Institute of Justice Study observed that “abused and neglected children were 11 times more likely to be arrested for criminal behavior as a juvenile, 2.7 times more likely to be arrested for violent and criminal behavior as an adult, and 3.1 times more likely to be arrested for one of many forms of violent crime.”
Cycle of Abuse
It is estimated that about 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children.
Frequently, perpetrators were themselves abused as children. They learned unhealthy ways of interacting with others, of exerting power and control, and of disciplining children. This dynamic is responsible for the cycle of abuse in which victims of abuse feel a powerful compulsion to relive trauma they suffered. People with deeper emotional reserves, or none at all, will even inflict the abuse upon themselves or instigate others to inflict it on them. In an effort to seek control over the abuse, they become the perpetrators.
Costs of Abuse and Neglect
The estimated financial cost of child abuse and its related consequences is $93 billion per year. $24 billion of that are direct costs associated with maintaining a child welfare system to investigate claims of child abuse and neglect, expenditures by the judicial, law enforcement, health, and mental health systems. Indirect costs are $69 billion and are associated with juvenile and adult criminal activity, mental illness, substance abuse, and domestic violence.
For additional information by state, click on the following PDF below.
|Child Maltreatment 2009|
|Author(s):||United States. Children’s Bureau|
|Availability:||Download (PDF – 3,972KB)|
|Year Published:||2010 – 227 pages|
|This report summarizes child abuse statistics submitted by states to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) during 2009. See a list of all Child Maltreatment Reports. The data are presented in aggregate and by state, and trends are reported when available. Topics include sources of reports; time for response; victimization rates; types of maltreatment; age, race and gender of victims; age and gender of perpetrators; relationship of perpetrators to the victim; number of child fatalities; types of services provided; and additional research related to child maltreatment.|
National Incidence Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS)
Addresses a congressionally mandated, periodic research effort to assess the incidence of child abuse and neglect in the United States. This webpage provides information and reports from the four NIS studies.
Child Welfare Outcomes Report Data
Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Features a custom report builder that offers access to the most current Child Welfare Outcomes data before the full report is published. The website provides information on the performance of States in seven outcome categories as well as data on contextual factors and findings of analyses conducted across States.
Child abuse is devastating not only at the time of the abuse, but the experience haunts the abused for the rest of their life. If you would like additional detailed information, please view the following links: