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April 2007Vol. 8, No. 3HHS Releases National Statistics on Child Abuse and Neglect for 2005

According to the latest figures released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 899,000 children were abused or neglected in fiscal year (FY) 2005. This represents a victimization rate of 12.1 per 1,000 children. A slight increase in these numbers compared to FY 2004 is attributed to the inclusion of data from Alaska and Puerto Rico. During the prior 5 years, there had been a general decline in the rate of victimization and the numbers of victims.

The national statistics are part of Child Maltreatment 2005, a compendium of data collected through the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. Child Maltreatment provides national and State statistics on reporting, victims, perpetrators, fatalities, and services provided to children and families in 2005.

An estimated 3.3 million child maltreatment allegations regarding 6 million children were made in 2005; an estimated 3.6 million children were actually investigated by child protective services agencies. Approximately 25 percent of these reports involved substantiated claims of abuse. The rate of investigation increased from 47.8 per 1,000 children in 2004 to 48.3 in 2005.

Of the children who were abused and neglected in 2005:

  • 54.5 percent were 7 years old or younger, with children ages 0-3 years having the highest rate of victimization
  • 62.8 percent experienced neglect, 16.6 percent were physically abused, and 9.3 percent were sexually abused
  • 1,460 children died from abuse or neglect in 2005, slightly lower than the estimated 1,490 deaths reported in 2004

As in previous years, the vast majority of perpetrators (79.4 percent) were parents of the victim. Another 6.8 percent were relatives of the victim.

To read the full report on national and State statistics, see Child Maltreatment 2005 on the Children’s Bureau website: