In 2008, 2 million cases of
child abuse or neglect were investigated by Child
Protective Services in the United States. About 24 out of 100 of these cases were
Of the confirmed
The true number of children who are abused or neglected is
not known. Many cases, especially those involving young children, are not
recognized or reported. As a result, many abused or neglected children suffer
Children of all ages can be victims of any of these
types of abuse. But younger children are more likely to be
physically abused and to suffer more serious injuries than older children.1
In 2008, child
abuse and neglect was perpetrated (carried out) by one or both parents in about 80 out of 100 cases. Other relatives were
responsible for about 7 out of 100 cases.1
Girls are slightly more likely to be abused or neglected than
boys. The difference for boys and girls is bigger for sexual abuse. About 20 out of 100 adult women and 5 to 10 out of 100 adult men are estimated to report having been
sexually abused before age 18.2
CitationsAdministration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2008). Child Maltreatment 2008. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Available online: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm08.Leventhal JM (2003). Child maltreatment: Neglect to
abuse. In CD Rudolph et al., eds., Rudolph's Pediatrics,
21st ed., pp. 463–469. New York: McGraw-Hill.
December 10, 2010
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
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