Child Abuse Down for 15th Year Straight

babyAfter being inundated daily with horrifying stories of parents who neglect and abuse their children, it was a nice ray of light to see a recent report that says we're actually making progress in this country when it comes to protecting our children.

For the 15th year in a row, rates of sexual and physical abuse and neglect have declined. Between 2007 and 2008, sexual abuse declined 6 percent, physical abuse by 3 percent, and neglect by 2 percent.

Individual states saw various rates of increases and decreases, but one state fared especially poorly.


In New Hampshire, physical abuse was up 6 percent, and neglect was up 35 percent. Sexual abuse, however, was down 10 percent.

But overall the news is good, and experts say it's especially noteworthy since the latest statistics are from 2008 -- the first full year of the economic depression. Traditional thinking has been that abuse rates would rise in hard economic times, but it doesn't appear to be case this time ... yet.

"This is good news, but we need to be very cautious," said lead author David Finkelhor. "It could be that discouragement and despair in families about their deteriorating economic situation take longer than a year to show their effects."

And while it's nice to see progress being made, it doesn't make all the individual stories of children being harmed and killed by those that are supposed to nurture them any better.

Image via AshBayGrammy


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