Child Abuse


Experts cannot agree on a single reason for this increase, but most attribute it to both a population increase and an increase in reporting. Other factors that are sometimes cited include changing a wider definition of child abuse, increased reporting requirements, states providing more accurate information, better recording systems, and changes in data collections. 
It is estimated that about 906,000 children are victims of abuse & neglect every year. That estimate translates roughly to an astonishing rate of 12.3 children per 1,000 children. Of the victimized children, it is the ages 0-3 that are the most likely to experience abuse. About 1 in 50 U.S. infants are victims of nonfatal child abuse or neglect in a year, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. To further the shock, it is estimated that of these 1,500 abused and neglected children will result in death. That is just over 4 fatalities every day! The CDC goes onto report that 79% of the child mortality rate from abuse, are younger than 4 years of age.
As a psychologist who has worked with abused children, I can say that first and foremost, a child should never be flat-out confronted if you suspect abuse. This should be handled very delicately and the child should be approached gently, with all efforts being made to ensure the feeling of safety, security and trust. The child will most likely be frightened, embarrassed, ashamed, feeling guilty or conflicted and going through many emotions that are hard for them to handle.
If you suspect child abuse has occurred, you should contact the local child protection agency or police department. Now-a-day, there are many national organizations that you can call who will help guide you through. One organization is called Child Help USA and they have a hotline that is available 24 hours a day to offer assistance.

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