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CDC: Child Abuse, Neglect Cost United States $124 Billion

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DETROIT (WWJ) - The total lifetime estimated financial costs associated with just one year of confirmed cases of child maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and neglect) is approximately $124 billion, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published in Child Abuse and Neglect, The International Journal.

The study looked at confirmed child maltreatment cases, 1,740 fatal and 579,000 non–fatal, for a 12–month period.

The lifetime cost for each victim of child maltreatment who lived was $210,012. That’s comparable to other costly health conditions, such as stroke with a lifetime cost per person estimated at $159,846 or type 2 diabetes, which is estimated between $181,000 and $253,000. The costs of each death due to child maltreatment are even higher.

Child maltreatment has been shown to have many negative effects on survivors, including poorer health, social and emotional difficulties, and decreased economic productivity.

This CDC study found these negative effects over a survivor′s lifetime generate many costs that impact the nation′s health care, education, criminal justice and welfare systems.

Child maltreatment can also be linked to many emotional, behavioral, and physical health problems. Associated emotional and behavioral problems include aggression, conduct disorder, delinquency, antisocial behavior, substance abuse, intimate partner violence, teenage pregnancy, anxiety, depression and suicide.

Past research suggests that child maltreatment is a complicated problem, and so its solutions cannot be simple. An individual parent or caregiver′s behavior is influenced by a range inter–related factors such as how they were raised, their parenting skills, the level of stress in their life, and the living conditions in their community.

CDC′s Injury Center works to prevent injuries and violence and their adverse health consequences. For more information on public health child maltreatment prevention activities and research, visit www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention.

If you know or suspect a child is being abused, contact the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD.

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