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Changes in reporting child abuse, definitions of abuse, and methodology of studies all contribute to an increase in the statistics which may not reflect an actual increase in the incidence of such abuse; one study concluded that child abuse had not increased in the last decade, but that the ability of professionals to recognize signs of maltreatment and report it had. However, it is also believed that the statistics that are available are extremely low in comparison to actual incidence of abuse.
2010 National Child Abuse Statistics
- Approximately 695,000 children were victims of maltreatment (unique instances).
- 47 states reported approximately 3.4 million children received preventative services from Child Protective Services agencies.
- Children younger than one year had the highest rate of victimization of 20.6 per 1,000 children in the population of the same age.
- Of the children who experienced maltreatment or abuse, over 78% experienced neglect; more than 17% were physically abused; just under 10% were sexually abused; approximately 8% were psychologically maltreated; just over 2% were medically neglected; and approximately 10% experienced other types of maltreatment.
- Nearly 80% of reported child fatalities as a result of abuse and neglect were caused by one or more of the child victim's parents.
Nearly five children died every day in America in 2010 from abuse and neglect. (Every Child Matters Education Fund (2009). We Can Do Better: Child Abuse and Neglect Deaths in the U.S.) In 2010, an estimated 1,560 children died from abuse and neglect in the United States. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Administration for Children & Families. Child Maltreatment 2010) There are 3.6 million reports of child abuse every year in the United States, involving 6 million kids.
About 54% of rapes/sexual assaults are not reported to the police, according to a statistical average from 2006 to 2010. Those rapists, of course, never spend a day in prison. Factoring in these unreported rapes, only about 3% of rapists ever serve a day in jail. (Justice Department, National Crime Victimization Survey: 2006-2010 and Department of Justice, Felony Defendents in Large Urban Counties: average of 2002-2006)
Other National Child Abuse Statistics
- 15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12.
- 29% are age 12-17.
- 44% are under age 18.
- 80% are under age 30.
- 12-34 are the highest risk years.
- Girls ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.
- 93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker.
- 34.2% of attackers were family members.
- 58.7% were acquaintances.
- Only 7% of the perpetrators were strangers to the victim.
Victims of sexual assault are:
- 3 times more likely to suffer from depression.
- 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
- 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.
- 26 times more likely to abuse drugs.
- 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.
Victims of sexual assault are three times more likely to suffer from depression than non-assaulted people
Incest has been cited as the most common form of child abuse. Studies conclude that 43% of
child victims are abused by family members, 33% by somone they know, and the remaining 24%
are sexually abused by strangers.
(Hayes, Robert, 1990, Summer, “Child Sexual Abuse,” Crime Prevention Journal)
Many victims of incest may not have memories of it ever happening. Some of the victims will not have these memories because the abuse occurred while they were very young. Often abuse vicitims report that the actual physical sexual abuse was not even the worst part of the experience—the worst part was carryng such a powerful secret that must be protected. Other abuse vicitims may have literally pushed the memories from their conscious mind in order to survive the abuse.
Some symtoms of child sexual abuse are:
- being extremely irritable
- genital irritation
- scared of being alone, etc.
One symptom of child sexual abuse is being scared of being alone
Sickeningly unbelievable, children of all ages, including infants, (Simons, Marlise, 1998-07-19, "Dutch Say A Sex Ring Used Infants On Internet". New York Times) are abused in the production of pornography. (Wells, M.; Finkelhor, D.; Wolak, J.; Mitchell, K., 2007, "Defining Child Pornography: Law Enforcement Dilemmas in Investigations of Internet Child Pornography Possession") The United States Department of Justice estimates that pornographers have recorded the abuse of more than one million children in the United States alone. (Levesque, Roger J.R., 1999, Sexual Abuse of Children: A Human Rights Perspective, Indiana University Press, pp. p66) Also, there is an increasing trend towards younger victims and greater brutality. ("The Child Porn Pipeline Part Three: A child victim's story of betrayal and despair", Buffalo News, 2008)
While it is impossible to know the true extent of the problem, given its illegal nature, International Labour Organization (ILO) global child labour figures for the year 2003 estimate that there are as many as 1.8 million children exploited in prostitution or pornography worldwide. ("Facts on commercial sexual exploitation of children" [PDF], International Labour Organization, 2004)
1.8 million children are exploited in prostitution or pornography worldwide yearly
Children of all ages are abused in the production of pornography
Past Child Abuse Statistics
Child maltreatment rates rose between 1976 and 1986 from 10 to 33 per 1,000. Teen (ages 15 to 19) suicide rates tripled between 1960 and 1985, from 3.6 to 10.7 per 100,000.
"One half of American families in all social groups will, at some time, become involved in a dangerous behavior; one eighth of all couples will engage in severe violence. In one study, a third of college students reported a history of sexual molestation during childhood (1971). [One national survey conducted closer to 1985 concluded that about one quarter of college women in the U.S. had been raped or sexually assaulted since they were 14 years old. (Koss, Mary P., and Gidycz, C.A., and Wisniewski, N., "The Scope of Rape: Incidence and Prevalence of Sexual Aggression and Victimization in a National Sample of Higher Education Students," Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55, 1985, pp. 162-170, referenced in Rebuilding the Nest)]
Some research suggests that 20 to 35 percent of white, middle-class women had a sexual encounter with an adult male when young; 4 to 12 percent with a relative. In 1955, the yearly rate of incest was thought to be 2 cases among 1,000,000 people. This number was far too low. Estimates have risen to 1,000 cases per 1,000,000 people, or over 250,000 cases a year, with physical abuse at 500,000 children annually (1983). At least 10 percent of cases of physical child abuse involve sexual abuse. And probably 90 percent of the cases of incest go undetected—especially in middle- and upper-class populations.
" . . . inadequate parenting is much more widespread than was once thought. A significant number of 'normal' mothers simply do not like their children. And unloved children are more likely than others to grow up to be unloving, insecure, and emotionally brittle adults.
A significant number of 'normal' mothers simply do not like their children, and unloved children don't fare very well
" . . . The variations on the theme of child abuse and neglect are endless. The statistics are misleading and unrealistically low. . . Collusion between husband and wife is usual . . . It is a rare spouse who is totally unaware of what the other is doing. . . . Once abuse of one child occurs, there is a 20 percent chance that a sibling is concurrently being abused and a 50 percent chance that there is a history of abuse or that abuse will recur in the future.
"Disturbances in the mother-child bond are much more common that previously thought. In fact, in 1973 Brandt Steele noted in a speech that 'between 20 and 25 percent of mothers are not turned-on to mothering. . . . These mothers are either outrightly negative, or quite indifferent to their new infant. This is true of normal pregnancies. . . . Tragically, many of these nonturned-on mothers never fulfill the prophecy that we often hear: "She'll learn to love her baby in time." They don't learn to love their baby in time,' and often tragic results occur.
"Mothering functions are certainly performed by others as well—most certainly including fathers. In fact, the presence of other more empathic siblings, adults, relatives, or nursemaids can go a long way in protecting 'unloved' children from the long-term results of emotional—and physical—abuse." (Weisberg, Michael, M.D.,Dangerous Secrets, W.W. Norton, New York, 1983)
When a mother can't learn to love her baby, father can become the nurturer
In the United States and four U.S. territories, in 1986 there were documented reports of 2,086,000 children who were reported as neglected or abused, an 8 percent increase over 1985, and 212 percent increase over 1976. Neglect is most frequently reported, constituting 36.1 percent of the reports. Abuse accounted for 35 percent, with abuse AND neglect found in 16.6 percent of the reports. Perpetrators in 81.9 percent of the reports were the child's parents. Forty-nine percent of the reported offending households were receiving public assistance; 32.5 percent of the families were headed by a single female. Health problems were reported in 42 percent of the cases; poor economic and living conditions in 40 percent. (News Release titled Fact Sheet—1986 Data, American Association for Protecting Children, July 1988)
"There are 34 million people in the United States who were sexually abused in childhood. Eighty percent of all prostitutes who have been studied had been sexually or otherwise abused as children.
Eighty percent of all prostitutes who have been studied had been sexually or otherwise abused as children
"A lot of abusive and violent behavior is considered normal in our society, fathers yelling at their children, teachers controlling their students with fear, the parent slapping a child when s/he feels like it, implying that s/he owns the child and can violate his/her body." (The dare to discipline crowd are authoritarians using the cover of "religion" to express their inner, violent, mean natures and denying it's child abuse. The kids so raised grow up to also be child abusers, needless to say. Beating the crap out of people tends to make them compliant, docile, fearful, angry, depressed, neurotic, passive aggressive and many more such attributes too numerous to mention. One needs to "break their wills" to get obedience, is the perverse logic. Unsurprisingly, the man preaching such ugliness is James Dobson, the popular right-wing Christian minister.)
Obedience is a proper goal in animal training, but is an inappropriate goal for childraising—kids are not animals
A lot of abusive and violent behavior is considered normal in our society, e.g., fathers yelling at their children
"Many parents who are physical abusers are also addicts—addicted to work, to religion, to rage, to power, to sex. The typical abuser is an isolated male who was deprived of basic mothering. He lacks empathy and has no sense of the pain he is causing. Physical abuse is addictive; people get bonded to it.
"One out of every eight women is beaten at least once by her husband in the United States. And part of the reason for so much abuse is that we don't allow anger in families. An environment of emotional illness [is the source of the abuse, but] is not the trauma; the trauma is the inability to talk about it to anybody, to have no witnesses and no allies and to be little and helpless and powerless." (Bradshaw, John, "Our Families, Ourselves," Lear's, November/December 1988, pp. 75-76)
Child abuse statistics
All of the above facts and research are sufficient to cause one to reconsider mankind's place on this planet. With so many people treating innocent children so terribly, with so much rape, incest, and exploitation of children as if they are simply convenient slabs of meat to use, can we really claim any type of superiority over animal species? Are we kidding ourselves? Is it wishful thinking? At very best, we can assert that SOME human beings seem to be superior to animals. On the other hand, many seem to be LOWER than animals, since they are self-aware, thinking beings choosing to act terribly. But why would they—why would ANYONE want to? Obviously, if these offenders had been raised well in a loving home, they would not be able to stomach child abuse in themselves or anyone else. So child abuse and criminal activities, as well as abuse of adults, are the legacy of bad parenting and inadequate nurturing. Come on, people—if we really are "above" the animals, isn't it time we prove it? Actions speak louder than words.
What, then, is the alternative to society continuing to have so many citizens who act in such an abhorant manner? How can we predictably raise people to be part of the solution, and not part of the problem? Try reading this novel: The Forest Through The Trees, see WHY Register for MC Search and Match?, check out a treasure trove of wisdom here, and even peruse the MC drawings.
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