Child Abuse Facts – 10 Facts about Child Abuse
- A Child is Killed By Abuse or Neglect Every 5.5 Hours
- More Than 3 Million Children Receive Treatment for Abuse Each Year
- 70% of Children Who Die from Abuse Are Under 3 Years Old
- 11.7% of Children in Vermont Were Reported as Victims of Abuse
- It Takes Over 9 Days for a Response to Child Abuse in Mississippi
- 80% of Duplicate Instances of Child Abuse are by Parents
- 13.3% of Child Abuse Victims Have a Disability
- Mothers Abuse Children Twice as Much as Fathers
- Over 75,000 Children are Abused in California Each Year
- 1,640 Children Die from Child Abuse Each Year
1. A Child is Killed By Abuse or Neglect Every 5.5 Hours
Child abuse facts tell a shocking story of abuse and neglect in the United States. The welfare of children in the United States could certainly be much better. Of the over 70 million children in the United States, 1 is killed every 5.5 hours due to abuse or neglect. In other words, 4 children die as a result of maltreatment every single day.
When we look at the figures closely, child abuse facts teach us that this is something that affects children of all backgrounds. Each day, 1 white child, 1 Hispanic child, 1 black child, and 1 Asian, American Indian or Pacific Islander child, are killed as a result of child abuse.
These statistics are important as they remind us we should all work within our communities to prevent child abuse from happening. We can change these child abuse facts and save more children by learning more about the issue and working together.
2. More Than 3 Million Children Receive Treatment for Abuse Each Year
Child abuse facts show that 10% of children in America suffer from maltreatment. There is no strong difference between the statistics for boys and girls. We should be treating our princes and princesses better. Roughly 48% of children abused are boys and 51% of children abused are girls. Sadly, child abuse facts tell us that boys are more likely than girls to die from child abuse. More than 57% of the children who die from child abuse are boys.
Child abuse is increasing in the United States. Since 2008, rates of child abuse are shown by the most recent studies to have increased by roughly 5%. Each year, more than 3 million children are reported to child protective services. More than 25% of these cases involve physical or sexual abuse.
These child abuse facts paint a sad picture for child welfare in the United States. For every 100,000 children, 2.2 die each year due to abuse or neglect.
3. 70% of Children Who Die from Abuse Are Under 3 Years Old
Some of the saddest child abuse facts teach us that younger children are more likely to be abused. More than 70% of fatalities occur in children who are younger than 3 years old. Child abuse facts show that children in their first year of life are the most likely to be victims of child abuse.
This is extremely sad because this is when children are at their most vulnerable. 21.9% of child abuse cases involve children in the first year of their life. Each year of life thereafter, until the age of 4 years old, accounts for roughly 11% of cases. As children get older, the rate of abuse declines. 17 year olds account for fewer than 4% of child abuse cases.
Most child abuse takes the form of neglect. Child abuse facts teach us that 78.3% of child maltreatment cases are due to neglect. Physical abuse occurs in 18.3% of child abuse cases, and 9.3% of cases involve sexual abuse.
4. 11.7% of Children in Vermont Were Reported as Victims of Abuse
The rate of reported cases of child abuse varies greatly from state to state. However, these child abuse facts show that some states are doing better than others when it comes to eliminating child abuse. These statistics also only tell us about the reported cases; many more may go unreported. These facts about child abuse don’t paint a precise picture, but they do provide some insights on where the highest and lowest levels of reporting of child abuse occurs.
Vermont has the highest rate of reported abuse, with over 117 cases reported for every 1000 children. That’s 11.7% of children in Vermont! Child abuse facts also show that Alaska has a high rate of reported child abuse, with over 90 cases per 1000 children; that’s more than 9% of children in Alaska.
Alabama had the lowest reported rate of child abuse at 1.8%. Illinois also had a low rate of reported abuse at a little over 2.2%. Back toward the other end of the spectrum, West Virginia is another state with a high rate of reported abuse, at 9.3%.
5. It Takes Over 9 Days for a Response to Child Abuse in Mississippi
Child abuse facts show us that the rates of reported child abuse vary from state to state. Facts about child abuse also show that response times vary between states. It’s shocking to consider that it takes child protective services 9.7 days on average to respond to a reported case of child abuse in Mississippi.
Some states respond rapidly to reports of child abuse. In Florida, for instance, the average response time is only 9 hours. The average response time for reported cases of child abuse is also low in Ohio, at only 11 hours.
Child abuse facts show that over 19 states have response times to child abuse longer than 2 days. It’s sad to think of the continued harm that could come to a child in those 48 hours.
6. 80% of Duplicate Instances of Child Abuse are by Parents
When looking at child abuse facts, cases where children are reported as being abused more than once are considered duplicate cases. Perhaps the most shocking of child abuse facts is that parents are the perpetrators of abuse in 80% of cases.
The picture painted by these child abuse facts is very sad. Even sadder is the fact that the biological parent is the perpetrator in 88% of the 80% of child abuse cases where parents are the perpetrators of repeat child abuse. These child abuse facts also show us that it’s up to law enforcement and the community to monitor children and make sure they are not being abused.
7. 13.3% of Child Abuse Victims Have a Disability
Child abuse facts teach us that there are certain risk factors which make it more likely that a child will be abused. Statistics show that 13.3% of child abuse victims have some sort of disability.
There are other risk factors: 4.3% of children who are victims of child abuse have a medical condition; children with behavior problems account for 3.2% of child abuse victims; and 2.5% of child abuse victims have emotional disturbances.
8. Mothers Abuse Children Twice as Much as Fathers
Child abuse facts paint a surprising picture when it comes to which parent is most likely to abuse a child. The common image of the angry father does not match up with the statistics.
36.6% cases of child abuse are committed by the mother acting alone. The percentage of child abuse cases committed by the father alone accounts for 18.7%. Both parents are involved in 19.4% of child abuse cases, and 12% of cases are committed by someone who is not the child’s parent.
When we look at the total numbers, over 250,000 children are abused by their mother each year, compared to roughly 125,000 cases of child abuse by the father alone.
9. Over 75,000 Children are Abused in California Each Year
The number of child abuse victims varies from state to state. California has the highest number, with 76,026 cases per year. There were as many as 80,100 cases of child abuse in California in 2011.
New York and Texas, which are both populous states like California, each reported over 60,000 children who were abused. Florida had more than 50,000 cases of child abuse, with 53,341 cases.
When we look at the rate of child abuse, we find that the District of Columbia has the highest rate of abuse. While Vermont has the highest reported rate of abuse at 11.6%, in the District of Columbia 1.9% of children suffer from child abuse or neglect.
10. 1,640 Children Die from Child Abuse Each Year
We know from our child abuse facts that a child dies from child abuse every 5.5 hours in the United States. Looking at the total number of victims is another way to see how serious the problem is.
It’s estimated that 1,640 children die from child abuse in the United States each year. Texas reported the highest number of deaths from child abuse, with 215 deaths.
California, New York, Illinois and Florida all reported more than 100 deaths due to child abuse. In Florida, the total was 179 deaths. New Hampshire only reported one fatality due to child abuse, as did North Carolina and Rhode Island.
These are the most grim child abuse facts. When we don’t do something to stop child abuse, the results are deadly.
Facts about Child Abuse Summary
Child abuse facts paint a troubling picture for children in the United States. Four children die every day as a result of child abuse. Perhaps surprisingly to some, mothers are most often the perpetrators. In over 36% of child abuse cases, the mother acted alone in abusing the child.
Children with disabilities and medical conditions are at particular risk for abuse. As a community, we should do our best to watch for signs of abuse. Parents are responsible for child abuse in more than 80% of cases.
Another one of the surprising child abuse facts is that children under the age of 3 years old are the most likely to be abused. Special care should be taken to prevent abuse and neglect in the earliest years of a child’s life, when they are at their most vulnerable.