CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
State child protective services agencies received reports alleging
the maltreatment of approximately 4.5 million children in 2002.
Over half of these reports were received from community professionals,
while the remainder was received from family, friends, relatives,
or neighbors of these children.
In 2002, investigations by State child protective services agencies
determined that an estimated 896,000 children were victims of abuse
or neglect, equivalent to a rate of 12.3 per 1,000 children under
18 years of age. Approximately 60 percent of all victims suffered
neglect, 19 percent physical abuse, 10 percent sexual abuse, 7 percent
psychological maltreatment, and 19 percent other forms of maltreatment.
Some children suffered multiple types of maltreatment.
Victimization was highest among the youngest children. In 2002,
16 percent of victims were newborns to age 3, while 6 percent were
16 to 17 years old. Among the estimated 1,400 children who died
of abuse and neglect, children under 1 year of age accounted for
41.2 percent of fatalities and children under 7 years accounted
for 87.9 percent. Of the child fatalities that occurred in 2002,
79 percent involved a parent as a perpetrator.
The data were obtained from the National Child Abuse and Neglect
Data System, the primary source of national information on abused
and neglected children known to State child protective services