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Abuse Statistics

Below are the 2016 Children's Advocacy Center Statistics for the United States

Among the over 324,602 children served by Children’s Advocacy Centers around the country for the year 2016, some startling statistics include:

•109,752 children were ages 0 to 6 years
•124,728 children were ages 7 to 12 years
•89,525 children were ages 13 to 18 years
•63,559 children reported sexual abuse
•24,052 children reported physical abuse
•228,584 children participated in forensic interviewing at a Children’s Advocacy Center (A forensic interview is conducted at the Child Advocacy Center when there has been a report to law enforcement or the Department of Health and Human Services that the child may have been a victim of physical or sexual abuse or when a child may have witnessed a violent crime.

Among the over 255,167 alleged offenders investigated for instances of child abuse for 2016, some startling statistics include:

•165,968 were 18+ years old
•27,023 were ages 13 to 17 years
•21,419 were under age 13 years
•101,068 were a parent or step-parent of the victim
•51,871 were related to the child victim in another way
•82,771 were an unrelated person the victim knew

•A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds
•*More than five children die every day as a result of child abuse.
•Approximately 80% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4.
•It is estimated that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates.
•More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way.
•Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
•About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.
•About 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
•The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2008 is $124 billion.


Each day in the United States, more than 3 children die as a result of child abuse in the home.

More children (age four and younger) die from child abuse and neglect than any other single, leading cause of death for infants and young children. This includes falls, choking on food, suffocation, drowning, residential fires, and motor vehicle accidents.


Approximately one in six boys is sexually abused before age 16. By Jim Hopper, Ph.D. (last revised 9/30/2011)

In 1999, an estimated 2.974 million child abuse reports were received by local child protective services (CPS) agencies.

The actual incidence of abuse and neglect is estimated to be three times greater than the number reported to authorities. Child abuse is reported—on average—every 10 seconds. Based on approximately 3 million reports per year. An estimated 879,000 victims of maltreatment were substantiated after investigation by child protective services agencies in 2000.

Nine in 10 Americans polled regard child abuse as a serious problem, yet only 1 in 3 reported abuse when confronted with an actual situation.


In 2000, victimization rates were similar for male and female children (11.2 and 12.8 per 1,000 children, respectively). The exception was sexual abuse: 1.7 victims per 1,000 female children compared to 0.4 victims per 1,000 male children.

Types of maltreatment included:

Neglect (including medical neglect) 63%

Physical Abuse 19%

Sexual Abuse 10%

Psychological Maltreatment 8%


Convicted rape and sexual assault offenders serving time in state prisons report that two-thirds of their victims were under the age of 18.

One of every seven victims of sexual assault reported to law enforcement agencies were under age six.

Among rape victims less than 12 years of age, 90% of the children knew the offender, according to police-recorded incident data.

Frequently, the person who sexually molests a child is also a child.

40% of the offenders who sexually assaulted children under age 6 were juveniles (under the age of 18).


Nearly one-half of substantiated cases of child neglect and abuse are associated with parental alcohol or drug abuse. It is estimated that one in every four children in the United States (28 million) are living in a household with an alcoholic adult.

Men and women serving time in the nation’s prisons and jails report a higher incidence of abuse as children than the general population.

More than a third of women in the nation’s prisons and jails reported abuse as children, compared with 12% to 17% for women in the general population. About 14% of male inmates reported abuse as children, compared with 5% to 8% of men in the general population.