Most of us don’t like to think about bad things happening to children. The reality: it happens. Child abuse is happening right now, in this moment, and in homes where we do not expect it to occur. The global impact of child abuse and neglect is astounding.
Is talking enough?
Each April, we do stop to talk about child abuse with Child Abuse Prevention Month. Maybe talk is not enough, but it is one of our main lines of defense in the battle to prevent child abuse and neglect. One reason the public is not fully informed is because “73% of child victims do not tell anyone about the abuse for at least a year and 45% of victims do not tell anyone for at least 5 years.” When our society talks about the reality of abuse more openly, we increase the likelihood that this number will go down and these children will courageously speak up.
20 Ways Child Abuse Impacts our World
- According to national statistics 13,700 children are abused and neglected every day in the United States
- A report of abuse or neglect is made every 11 seconds.
- In Texas, more than 135 children are abused or neglected each day.
- On average, 5 children died from child abuse or neglect in Texas each week in 2012.
- Abused and neglected children are 53% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile & 38% more likely to be arrested as an adult.
- It is estimated that the costs of child abuse and neglect to society exceeds $100 billion per year.
- Anyone who files a child abuse report, in good faith and without
malice, is immune from civil or criminal liability.
- Of 826,000 confirmed cases in the US, 58.4% suffered neglect, 21.3% suffered physical abuse and 11.3% were sexually abused.
- Children younger than a year old account for 42.6% of the fatalities, and 86.1% are younger than 6 years of age.
- Suspected child abuse should be reported to the nearest Child Protective Service Office, to the 24-hour Child Abuse Hotline (800.252.5400), or to local law enforcement officials.
- 60% of prostitutes were sexually abused as children.
- 90% of convicted murderers were physically abused as children.
- Each day in the US, 689 babies are born with inadequate prenatal care.
- The United States spends $258 million each day as a direct (costs associated with the immediate needs of abused and neglected children) and indirect (costs associated with long-term/secondary effects of abuse and neglect) result of the abuse and neglect of our nation’s children.
- The annual cost of Child Abuse is equivalent to $1,461.66 per U.S. family.
- 60-80% of adult drug or alcohol abusers have a history of abuse in their childhood.
- Parents continue to be the main perpetrators of child maltreatment. Approximately 87% of all victims are maltreated by at least one parent. The most common pattern of maltreatment (45%) was a child victimized by a female parent acting alone.
- In Texas in 2004, parents were the alleged perpetrators in 77% of confirmed cases of child abuse or neglect.
- 84% of sexual victimization of children under age 12 occurs in a residence. Even older children are most likely to be assaulted in a residence. 71% of sexual assaults on children age 12-17 occur in a residence (Snyder, 2000).
- Failure to report suspected child abuse or neglect is punishable by imprisonment of up to 180 days and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
10 Small Ways You Can Make an Impact
- Volunteer at a local child abuse prevention organization as a child advocate.
- Join the 20-mile Walk-to-Action for Prevent Child Abuse Texas. November 1st, 2014 will be my 6th consecutive year to make this 20 mile journey through beautiful San Antonio, TX with one aim-ending child abuse.
- Find events in your area the promote awareness about child abuse.
- Donate funds to a local organization to support efforts to raise awareness and prevent abuse.
- Purchase items using Amazon Smile and have a portion of the purchase donated to the charity of your choice.
- Like a child abuse prevention organization on Facebook and share with your friends.
- Join the Darkness to Light Movement to end child abuse.
- Get informed about how to protect your children or those you know from abuse and learn about the common signs and symptoms of abuse.
- Make a report if you suspect a child is or has been abused.
- Share this information on Facebook or Twitter with your friends.