In the United States, child abuse is much more common than most people realize that it is. Statistics related to child abuse and neglect illustrate that these malicious and detrimental behaviors are not restricted to one race, ethnic group, socioeconomic level, or sex. Abuse and neglect cross all lines and boundaries, and no child is exempt from the possibility of abuse.
Current statistics on child abuse present a problem. A great deal of child abuse is never reported, and therefore, the information on child abuse may not be accurately represented. The information that is available creates an alarming and troubling image of child abuse in the United States.
Child abuse statistics show that many children suffer from physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual, abuse, or neglect. Neglect, one of the most fatal types of child abuse, is also the most common type of child abuse. Emotional abuse is rarely reported, and therefore, statistics on this extremely harmful type of abuse may not be correct. It is suspected that hundreds of thousands of child abuse cases go unreported every year. These children are still suffering from physical and psychological harm that is associated with all types of abuse.
Neglect can be extremely physically and emotionally damaging to a child. Neglect is the most common form of child abus, and is usually inflicted upon a child by the child's parents or guardians. Child abuse statistics show that a child's mother is the individual who is most likely going to subject a child to neglect. As a result of this, a child may develop severe attachment disorders and become unable to form emotional attachments with a parent or guardian. In many cases, these problems will continue to affect the child throughout their life.
Child abuse studies show that the instance of neglect will increase depending on the environment. Although child abuse and neglect do occur throughout all socioeconomic levels, a child is more likely to be subjected to neglect if they are born into a poor family. A mother is also more likely to neglect her child if she is in an unstable relationship with the child's father or is a single parent.
A child who is not receiving adequate care and attention from his/her parents is more likely to take part in dangerous or unacceptable activities. These activities may be very harmful to the child's health and well-being.
Consequences of Abuse
Over three million reports of suspected child abuse are made every year. Child abuse is most often reported by the individuals who are required to report by laws making such reporting mandatory.
Statistics Linking Child Abuse and Later Criminality
Many child abuse statistics and research indicates that child abuse is extremely detrimental to a child's emotional and psychological development. Some of the ways in which an individual copes with the traumatic events of child abuse is by forming psychological disorders and by turning to criminal activity.
Death Caused by Child Abuse
Child abuse and child neglect are responsible for thousands of deaths every year. Physical child abuse can escalate very quickly and easily turn fatal. Children who are repeatedly beaten may sustain extensive and severe injuries, which may lead to the death of the child. Although physical child abuse may be thought to be the most fatal form of abuse, child abuse statistics show that neglect is responsible for killing more children every year.
A child who is suffering from neglect may not have access to important necessities, such as food and water. The child may suffer from malnutrition and starvation. A child that is suffering from child neglect may also sustain fatal injuries while they were left alone without parental supervision. The chances that a child will suffer from death due to child abuse decreases as a child gets older.
Child abuse and neglect statistics show that an infant or young child is most likely to suffer from death due to child abuse. Fatal child abuse occurs in every social, economic, racial, and ethnic group. A parent's anger, carelessness, and lack of responsibility can easily cost a child his/her life.