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Facts About Abuse and Neglect

Every 46 seconds a child is confirmed as maltreated. Every five-and-a-half hours a child is killed by abuse or neglect.

In 2012:

There were 3.4 million reports of child maltreatment in the United States involving more than six million children.

Over 680,000 children were found to be victims of child maltreatment.

Of these victims:

  • 78.3 percent suffered neglect.
  • 18.3 percent suffered physical abuse.
  • 9.3 percent suffered sexual abuse.

1,640 children died from maltreatment. Young children are particularly vulnerable, three-quarters (70.3 percent) of all child fatalities were younger than three years old. More than two-fifths (44.4 percent) of the children who die from maltreatment every year are under a year old.

While it is often assumed that children who die from maltreatment have been physically assaulted, in fact more than six-tenths (69.9 percent) suffered from neglect.

Some children who died from abuse and neglect were already known to Child Protective Services (CPS) agencies. In 30 reporting states, the children whose families had received family preservation services in the past 5 years accounted for 8.5 percent of child fatalities. In 35 reporting States, 2.2 percent of child fatalities had been in foster care and were reunited with their families in the past five years.

Four-fifths (80 percent) of perpetrators of child maltreatment were parents acting alone, together, or with other individuals.

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