The million-dollar-question would be: How many children are abused in the United States?
It has been pointed out that the incidence of child abuse and neglect have nominally decreased over the recent years, more than 1.25 million; that brings it to 1 out of every 58 children in the United States, were abused back in the year 2006. This staggering number has been proven solidly over the years after that.
61%, or more than half of the children (a total of 771,700) were victimized by neglect. This means that a parent or guardian failed to provide for the child’s basic needs. This includes but is not limited to the more obvious ones which are food, shelter, clothing, and education. The three main facets of neglect include education neglect (360,500 children), physical neglect (295,300 children), and emotional neglect (193,400 children).
Around 44% of this statistics are comprised of children who were victimized by abuse (553,300 children). This includes physical abuse (325,000 children), sexual abuse (135,000 children), and emotional abuse (145,500 children). A staggering average of nearly four children die each day as a result of child abuse or neglect; based on a study conducted back in year 2007. That comes up with a disturbing number of 1,760 children.
So the question here is: “Who is more likely to be abused or neglected among these children?” Truth is, no group of children is immune from being victimized by abuse or neglect. Although girls are oftentimes more prone to physical abuse compared to boys, boys aren’t necessarily ruled out of the equation altogether. For all other types of abuse or neglect, the statistics for the number of boys and girls victimized are apparently equal.
Children coming from all races, ethnicities, or cultural backgrounds can be victims of child abuse. As a matter of fact, back in year 2007, nearly one-half of all victims of child abuse and neglect where Caucasian (46.1%), one-fifth where African-American (21.7%), and one-fifth were Hispanic (20.8%).
Although it has been commonly observed that children of all ages may experience abuse or neglect, it is usually the youngest children which are most vulnerable and susceptible, with almost 32% of the children victimized with abuse or neglect being at the age of four years and below.
Back in year 2007, more than half (57%) of all child abuse cases and reports made to CPS agencies came from professionals who came in contact with the child concerned; this includes but are not limited to teachers, lawyers, police officers, and even social workers. This is mainly because many of these professionals are required by law to report suspected abuse or neglect. But the big question there is what happens to the rest who don’t fall under the spectrum of the said statistics?
Many reports (which make up 26 %) came from nonprofessional sources, such as parents, other relatives, friends and neighbors. Anonymous reports have also been counted to make up 7% of all reports in the year 2007.
It should be considered as a cause of great value to know and to be able to identify the signs of child abuse and how to manage and report it. Everyone should be made to understand how important it is to share the responsibility to help keep the children safe and to take the necessary precautions and steps to prevent child abuse from occurring in the first place.