The Center for Disease Control shared that children and families thrive when they have access to safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments. Policies and programs that are supportive of children and families can prevent child abuse and neglect and other early adversity. CDC works to better understand the problem of child abuse and neglect and to prevent it before it begins.
Facts about Child Abuse and Neglect
Child abuse and neglect are significant public health problems in the United States.
- In 2016, more than 1,750 children died in the United States from abuse and neglect.
- According to child protective service agencies, about 676,000 children were victims of child abuse or neglect in 2016, although this number likely underestimates the true occurrence.
- One in 4 children have experienced abuse or neglect at some point in their lives and 1 in 7 experienced abuse or neglect in the past year.
- The total lifetime cost associated with just 1 year of confirmed cases of child abuse or neglect is $124 billion.
Exposure to child abuse and neglect and other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) cause toxic stress that can disrupt early brain development and harm the nervous and immune systems. Exposure to childhood adversity can increase a person’s risk for future violence, unhealthy behaviors, poor health and wellness, and limit life opportunities. This impact can be long-lasting and may continue across future generations. Read more