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National Crime Victims' Rights Week: April 18-24, 2004 banner

Child Abuse and Victimization

The direct cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States totals more than $24 billion annually. (This figure includes law enforcement, judicial system, child welfare, and mental and physical health costs). (Fromm, Suzette. Prevent Child Abuse America. “Total Estimated Cost of Child Abuse and Neglect.” 2001.)

Approximately 903,000 children were reported to be victims of child abuse and neglect in 2001. Of these, 59.2% were neglected, 18.6% were physically abused, 9.6% were sexually abused, and 6.8% were emotionally or psychologically abused. (Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children & Families. 2003. Child Maltreatment 2001. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)

Approximately 1,300 children died of abuse or neglect in 2001. (Ibid.)

Victimization rates in 2001 decreased as the age of children increased. Twenty-eight percent of child victims of abuse and neglect were from birth to three years of age. (Ibid.)

In 2001, the rate of child victims per 1000 children in the population was 12.4. This is comparable to the rate of 12.2 in 2000. Both of these rates are lower than the 1998 rate. (Ibid.)

Every day, between 1.3 million and 2.8 million runaway and homeless youth live on the streets of America. (The National Runaway Switchboard, www.nrscrisisline.org.)

Approximately 800,000 children are reported missing each year. Of those, 58,200 are abducted by non-family members, and 115 are victims of the most serious, long-term abductions. Of those 115, 56% are recovered alive. (National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children, October 2002. Runaway/Thrownaway Children: National Estimates and Characteristics. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.)

Between March 1998 and September 2003, the CyberTipline operated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has received a total of 118,987 reports of child pornography, and 1,890 reported cases of child prostitution. There have been 867 cases of child sex tourism, and 5,057 cases of child molestation (not in the family). Also, there were 8,768 reported cases of online enticement. (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Cypbertipline Fact Sheet. http://www.ncmec.org/en_US/publications/NC13.pdf. Site visited 10/23/03.)

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National Crime Victims' Rights Week: Victims' Rights: America's Values April 18–24, 2004
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