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Child Maltreatment 2008, an annual report from the Children’s Bureau, is now available online.  The report presents national and state statistics on child abuse and neglect derived from data collected by child protective services (CPS) agencies through the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System.

During 2008, an estimated 772,000 children were determined to be victims of abuse or neglect, less than the 794,000 reported in 2007 and 904,000 in 2006.  The report includes information on:

  • The estimated 3.3 million referrals made to CPS agencies in 2008, involving the alleged maltreatment of approximately 6 million children;
  • Fatalities that occurred as a result of maltreatment;
  • Perpetrators of maltreatment; and
  • Services to prevent maltreatment and to assist victims.

Data showed that consistent with prior years, the greatest proportion of children were neglected.  More than 71 percent of child victims suffered neglect while 15 percent of the victims suffered physical abuse and 9 percent sexual abuse.  Oftentimes a child victim suffers from multiple forms of maltreatment including psychological/emotional abuse.  Children in the age group of birth to 1 year had the highest rate of victimization at 21.7 per 1,000 children of the same age group in the national population.  More than one-half of the child victims were girls (51.3%) and 48.3 percent were boys. The report indicates that an estimated 1,740 children died due to child abuse or neglect during the reporting period.