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■ more than 22 times more likely to experience some form of maltreatment under the Harm Standard and over 25 times more likely to suffer
■ maltreatment of some type using the Endangerment Standard;
■ almost 14 times more likely to be harmed by some variety of abuse and nearly 15 times more likely to be abused using the Endangerment Standard criteria;
■ more than 44 times more likely to be neglected, by either definitional standard;
■ almost 16 times more likely to be a victim of physical abuse under the Harm Standard and nearly 12 times more likely to be a victim of physical abuse using the Endangerment Standard;
■ almost 18 times more likely to be sexually abused by either definitional standard;
■ thirteen times more likely to be emotionally abused under the Harm Standard criteria and more than 18 times more likely to be emotionally abused in a manner that fit Endangerment Standard requirements;
■ forty times more likely to experience physical neglect under the Harm Standard and over 48 times more likely to be a victim of physical neglect using the Endangerment Standard;
■ over 29 times more likely to be emotionally neglected under the Harm Standard definitions and over 27 times more likely to be emotionally neglected by Endangerment Standard criteria;
■ nearly 56 times more likely to be educationally neglected, by either definitional standard;
■ sixty times more likely to die from maltreatment of some type under the Harm Standard and over 22 times more likely to die from abuse or neglect using the Endangerment Standard;
■ over 22 times more likely to be seriously injured by maltreatment under the Harm Standard and almost 22 times more likely to be seriously injured by maltreatment that fit the Endangerment Standard requirements;
■ about 18 times more likely to be moderately injured by abuse or neglect under the Harm Standard and nearly 20 times more likely to have a moderate injury from maltreatment as defined by the Endangerment Standard;
■ fifty-seven times more likely to be classified as having an inferred injury under the Harm Standard and 39 times more likely to meet the criteria for inferred injury as defined by the Endangerment Standard;
■ and over 31 times more likely to be considered endangered, although not yet injured, by some type of abusive or neglectful treatment.
Family Income. Despite the fact that only a rather gross index of family income was available, and despite a substantial percentage of cases with missing data on this factor, family income was significantly related to incidence rates in nearly every category of maltreatment. Compared to children whose families earned $30,000 per year or more, those in families with annual incomes below $15,000 per year were
The incidence of child maltreatment varies as a function of family income, family structure, family size, and the metropolitan status of the county.
Family Structure. Children of single parents were at higher risk of physical abuse and of all types of neglect and were overrepresented among seriously injured, moderately injured, and endangered children. Compared with their counterparts living with both parents, children in single-parent families had
■ a 77-percent greater risk of being harmed by physical abuse (using the stringent Harm Standard) and a 63-percent greater risk of experiencing any countable physical abuse (using the Endangerment Standard);
■ an 87-percent greater risk of being harmed by physical neglect and
■ a 165-percent greater risk of experiencing any countable physical neglect;
■ a 74-percent greater risk of being harmed by emotional neglect and
■ a 64-percent greater risk of experiencing any countable emotional neglect;
■ a 220-percent (or more than three times) greater risk of being educationally neglected;
■ an approximately 80-percent greater risk of suffering serious injury or harm from abuse or neglect;
■ an approximately 90-percent greater risk of receiving moderate injury or harm as a result of child maltreatment;
■ and a 120-percent (or more than two times) greater risk of being endangered by some type of child abuse or neglect.
Among children in single-parent households, those living with only their fathers were approximately one and two-thirds times more likely to be physically abused than those living with only their mothers.
Risk factors are characteristics of a child or caregiver that may increase the likelihood of child maltreatment. Risk factors can be difficult to accurately assess and measure, and therefore may go undetected among many children and caregivers. Some states were able to report data on caregiver risk factors for children who died as a result of maltreatment. Caregivers with these risk factors may or may not have been the perpetrator responsible for the child’s death. Twenty-seven states reported that 6.9% of child fatalities were associated with a caregiver who had a risk factor of alcohol abuse. Thirty states reported that 18.1% of child fatalities were associated with a caregiver who had a risk factor of drug abuse. For 35 states, 14.4% of child fatalities were exposed to domestic violence
It is important to note that some states are not able to differentiate between alcohol abuse and drug abuse. Those states report the same children in both caregiver risk factor categories.
Frequently, the perpetrator for child fatalities is a young adult in his or her mid- 20s, without a high school diploma, living at or below the poverty level, depressed, and who may have difficulty coping with stressful situations. In many instances, the perpetrator has experienced violence firsthand (Cavanagh, Dobash R. E.; Dobash, R. P.; 2007). Fathers and mothers’ boyfriends are most often the perpetrators in abuse
A perpetrator is the person who is responsible for the abuse or neglect of a child. Fifty one states reported 522,476 unique perpetrators. The unique count tallies a perpetrator only once, regardless of the number of times the perpetrator is associated with maltreating a child. The following analyses were conducted using a unique count of perpetrators:
■ Four-fifths (83.4%) of perpetrators were between the ages of 18 and 44 years.
■ More than one-half (54.1%) of perpetrators were women, 45 percent of perpetrators were men, and .9 percent were of unknown sex.
■ One or both parents maltreated 78.1% of victims. The parent(s) could have acted together, acted alone, or acted with up to two other people to maltreat the child. A perpetrator who was not the child’s parent maltreated more than 13 percent (13.3%). The largest categories in the non-parent group were male relatives, male partner of parent, and "other".
As in prior years, the greatest percentage of children suffered from neglect. A child may have suffered from multiple forms of maltreatment and was counted once for each maltreatment type. CPS investigations or assessments determined that for unique victims:
■ more than 75 percent suffered neglect
■ more than 17 percent suffered physical abuse
■ fewer than 8 percent suffered sexual abuse
For FFY 2015, 52 states reported 683,000 (unique count) victims of child abuse and neglect. The unique count of child victims tallies a child only once regardless of the number of times he or she was found to be a victim during the reporting year. The unique victim rate was 9.2 victims per 1,000 children in the population.
Victim demographics include:
■ Victims in their first year of life had the highest rate of victimization at 24.2 per 1,000 children of the same age in the national population.
■ Boys accounted for 48.9 percent and girls accounted for 50.9 percent of victims. Fewer than .5 percent of victims were of unknown sex.
■ The majority of victims were comprised of three races or ethnicities—White (43.2%), Hispanic (23.6%), and African-American (24.6%).
The number and rate of estimated fatalities increased from 2014.
•1,670 estimated child fatalities in 2015 (an increase from 1,580 in 2014)
•72.9% of child fatalities were due to neglect
•1.1% of fatalities were caused by psychological abuse
•1.2% of fatalities were caused by sexual abuse
•43.9% of fatalities were caused by physical abuse
•7.3% of fatalities were caused by Medical neglect
•21.5% of fatalities were caused by multiple maltreatment
•60-85% percent of child deaths resulting from abuse or neglect are not recorded as such do to the lack of comprehensive investigations
•74.8% of child abuse fatalities are children 3 and under. These children are the most vulnerable for many reasons, including their dependency, small size, and inability to defend themselves.
•Less than 1% of child abuse fatalities happen in Foster Care.
The following statistics were obtained from the Child Maltreatment 2015. This annual report on child abuse and neglect is based on data collected via the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System NCANDS) and is further based on federal fiscal year 2015 data submitted by 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Please note that the data are submitted voluntarily by the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Because these states are not federally mandated to report the number of abuse cases in their respective states, we may never truly know the exact number of children being victimized and or murdered at the hands of their parents/caregivers.
Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect, losing on average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect. There are nearly 3 million reported child abuse cases each year; however, experts believe the actual number is closer to 9 million as most go unreported. Experts have testified they believe over 10 children die each day in the U.S. as a result of child abuse, 4 times as many as the loss of life in the war on terror. According to the Darkness to Light Foundation, 1 out of 10 children will be sexually molested by a close and trusted person before the age of 18