Child Abuse And Drugs In the

United States, on average, a child is abused every 13 seconds. Because of social awareness, reported child abuse has increased dramatically since the 1980s. Some states have experienced a 20 percent increase in reported child abuse between 1990 and 1991. The American Public Health Association (APHA) estimates that 1.7 million children are abused or neglected annually in the United States. This means that by 1992 a total of about 63.5 million (2.8%) of children under 18 years of age were abused.

Reported cases in the 1990 National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System totaled about half the APHA estimate, or only 893,856. This total comprised 227,057 victims of physical abuse; 403,430 victims of neglect; 138,357 victims of sexual abuse; 59,974 victims of emotional maltreatment; and 68,207 other. These figures represent only the reported cases—the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Research suggests that as many as 10 percent of children may be sexually abused and even more children physically abused or neglected. In addition, each year a higher percentage of U.S. children are being raised in poverty, often by over-stressed and drug-abusing parents.

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