Despite efforts to raise awareness about preventing child endangerment and abuse, research shows that cases of child abuse resulting in serious injury or death may actually be increasing.
A sobering new study found that in Great Britain, 400 children are sexually abused every week in Britain, one every 20 minutes.
This is in addition to a study last fall in the United States, showing that between 1997 and 2009, there was a 5% increase in hospitalizations for serious injuries resulting from child abuse, including fractures and traumatic brain injuries. With children under 1 year old, there was a 10.9% increase.
Earlier studies – based data from the Child Protective Services – showed a 55% decrease in rates of child abuse over a similar time period. But according to the new data ( based on hospital records), it appears the exact opposite is happening.
It’s important to note that the data collected by the child protective services doesn’t include hospitalization for injury, instead including cases of validated physical abuse.
The decrease seen in those studies has been attributed to changes in reporting of cases to the agency as opposed to a real decline in child abuse.
The new study findings “highlight the challenge of using a single source of data to track a complex problem such as child physical abuse,” the researchers say.
The researchers also said that the importance of these findings is that more preventative programs need to be developed in order to help parents and caregivers respond to their children in non-violent ways.
Remember: If you have any suspicion that a child near you is in danger, contact the authorities immediately. And check out “Sleepover Safety: What Parents Need to Ask Ahead of Time”