National Statistics on Child Abuse
In 2015, an estimated 1,670 children died from abuse and neglect in the United States.1 In 2015, Children’s Advocacy Centers around the country served more than 311,000 child victims of abuse, providing victim advocacy and support to these children and their families.
Nearly 700,000 children are abused in the U.S annually. An estimated 683,000 children (unique incidents) were victims of abuse and neglect in 2015,
the most recent year for which there is national data.
CPS protects more than 3 million children. Approximately 3.4 million children received an investigation or alternative response from child protective services agencies. 2.3 million children received prevention services.
The youngest children were most vulnerable to maltreatment. Children in the first year of their life had the highest rate of victimization of 24.2 per 1,000 children in the national population of the same age.
Neglect is the most common form of maltreatment. Of the children who experienced maltreatment or abuse, three-quarters suffered neglect; 17.2% suffered physical abuse; and 8.4% suffered sexual abuse. (Some children are polyvictimized—they have suffered more than one form of maltreatment.)
About four out of five abusers are the victims’ parents. A parent of the child victim was the perpetrator in 78.1% of substantiated cases of child maltreatment.
Two-thirds of children served disclosed sexual abuse (205,438).
Nearly 20% of children served disclosed physical abuse (60,897).
211,831 children received on-site forensic interviewing at a Children’s Advocacy Center.
Of those alleged to have abused children, nearly a quarter were themselves children.
Almost 40% were a parent or caregiver of the child victim.
Fully 90% of alleged abusers were related in some way to the child victim.
1 All national child abuse statistics cited from U.S. Administration for Children & Families, Child Maltreatment 2015. https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/child-maltreatment-2015