(Two years ago, I wrote this blog but it’s worth looking at again. I have added information and updated where I could)
Periodically I like to publish the latest statistics on child abuse. My primary source has always been a website called Child Help. Their work is invaluable in bringing to the public the very real problem that is both heinous and multi-generational. It impacts not only the survivor and their parents and siblings but the general public as well. Below is the link to their page. Please take a look and tell others about this site.
In particular note the chilling line: Individuals who reported six or more adverse childhood experiences had an average life expectancy two decades shorter than those who reported none. 5
Ischemic heart disease (IHD), Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), liver disease and other health-related quality of life issues are tied to child abuse.
Please check out the ACE Study for further information on this. Their website is: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy/index.html
Why do we still have people who change the subject whenever someone begins a dialogue about what happened to them as a child? Why do we think this doesn’t affect us? And worse, why do normal, intelligent and sensitive people still refuse to believe that the information on this page is not bogus. This is our real life. This is our real problem.
Statistics on child abuse for other countries, especially third world countries, is even higher than in the US. It is more difficult to treat than in the US. In some countries it is not only tolerated, it is part of their culture.
Every year more than 3.6 million referrals are made to child protection agencies involving more than 6.6 million children (a referral can include multiple children). The United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations – losing on average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect.
More current information from the Centers for Disease Control:
- There were 676,000 victims of child abuse and neglect reported to child protective services (CPS) in 2016.
- A non-CPS study estimated that 1 in 4 children experience some form of child abuse or neglect in their lifetimes and 1 in 7 children have experienced abuse or neglect in the last year.
- About 1,750 children died from abuse or neglect in 2016.
- The total lifetime economic cost of child abuse and neglect is estimated at $124 billion each year.
The most alarming data of all is that only 10% of child abuse cases, including sexual abuse, is the result of a stranger being the perpetrator. The one who harms you is most likely someone you know. This invalidates the entire philosophy I grew up with that said, “watch out for strangers.” We cannot stand around closing our eyes and changing the subject. Become informed first. It is vital that you know the symptoms of child sexual abuse in particular. Talk to others about it. Drag this ugly subject out in to the light. Don’t let the world turn their backs.
(current stats on child abuse are not available because time is needed to compile, analyze, and publish data; statistical publications often are released two or more years after the time period being analyzed.)