Child abuse continues to be a problem both internationally and domestically. There is almost a sense that we have made adequate progress in managing this societal challenge.
The data has indeed demonstrated improvement, but the problem remains. The reality is that unacceptable levels of child maltreatment still exist.
In the US, four children a day still suffer from abuse. Sexual abuse of children continues, and 90% of offenders are someone the child knows. The ultimate result of these abuses leads to chronic illness, increased risk of substance abuse, and increased involvement in criminal activity.¹
Children in abusive homes and communities are at higher risk of becoming victims of trafficking. Children fleeing from abusive homes and experiencing homelessness are at an even greater risk. The joint efforts of the healthcare community, educators, social service providers, and law enforcement officials are greatly needed to prevent violence against children, to identify and report it when it does occur, and to take steps to refer victims to proper treatment options.