Child Abuse Prevention: Statistics & Ways to Help

Children are placed into foster care due to abuse and neglect. Child abuse prevention is everyone’s responsibility.

child abuse prevention

Photo by Doriana_s

If we told you that every day of the year, over 1,800 children are neglected or abused in United States, would you be inclined to believe it? Unfortunately, you should because there were more than 678,000 confirmed cases of child abuse in our country last year.

What defines abuse or neglect? According to the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN), types include medical neglect, neglect or deprivation of necessities, physical abuse, psychological or emotional maltreatment, sexual abuse and other forms included in state law.

Child abuse and neglect costs American society billions of dollars per year. Think of protective services, mental health costs and state foster care operations, and you will easily see the immense monetary cost of this tragedy.

Child Abuse Prevention: Who is Required to Report Abuse?

Many states require health care providers, school employees, police officers and social workers to report abuse. New Jersey differs in a substantial way; everyone is required to report abuse.

New Jersey is a mandatory reporting state. Under New Jersey Law – Statute 9:6-8.10: Any person having reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to child abuse or acts of child abuse shall report the same immediately to the Division of Youth and Family Services (now known as the Division of Child Protection and Permanency) by telephone or otherwise. Such reports, where possible, shall contain the names and addresses of the child and his parent, guardian, or other person having custody and control of the child and, if known, the child’s age, the nature and possible extent of the child’s injuries, abuse or maltreatment, including any evidence of previous injuries, abuse or maltreatment and any other information that the person believes may be helpful with respect to the child abuse and the identity of the perpetrator.

Child Abuse Statistics in the U.S.

Here are some staggering statistics related to child abuse in the United States:

Source: 2012 NDACAN Child Maltreatment Report – Figures rounded

Reports with a Disposition from Reporting States:  2,000,000

Percentage of total children related to these reports:  2.8%


  • Educators, Police, Social Service or Medical:  59%
  • Friends, Neighbors or Relatives:  18%
  • Anonymous Sources/All Other:  23%


Rate per 1,000 of child population victimized

  • 0-5:  13.1
  • 6-12:  8.3
  • 13-17:  4.9


(Some victims suffer more than one type of abuse)

  • Neglect:  78.3%
  • Physical Abuse:  18.3%
  • Sexual Abuse:  9.3%


  • National rate per 1,000 children:  9.2
  • New Jersey rate per 1,000 children:  4.5
  • New Jersey ranking among states:  9th best


  • New Jersey
  • Illinois
  • North Dakota


  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island

Child Abuse Prevention Month

During April, you may see blue pinwheels at various locations. These displays are in support of National Child Abuse Prevention Month as proclaimed by President Obama. Local activities are coordinated by Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey.

Child Abuse Prevention: How to Report Abuse

A key to child abuse prevention is the importance of reporting suspected abuse. Laws, codes and procedures vary across the nation. A resource may be the National Child Abuse Hotline. They are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with professional counselors who have access to a database containing thousands of emergency, social service and support resources. All calls are anonymous. You may contact them at 1.800.4.A.CHILD (1.800.422.4453). For residents of New Jersey if the child is in immediate danger, call 911 as well as 1.877.NJ ABUSE (1.877.652.2873).

This issue we wish to share an article from Childhelp. This nonprofit organization has been operating for decades. As First Lady of California, Nancy Reagan, asked Childhelp to turn their focus to “America’s best kept secret” – child abuse. Over the years and through the efforts of organizations like Childhelp, the awareness about child abuse in the United States has risen. Here is some thought-provoking information on how you can help prevent child abuse.

online poll by Opinion Stage

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *