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Child Abuse

Definition: Child abuse, or child maltreatment occurs when a parent or caregiver causes injury, death, emotional harm or risk of serious harm to a child.


There are many forms of child maltreatment, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, exploitation, or any other act that could put a child at risk.

Statistics & Facts

  • Approximately 6.6 million children came to the attention of child protective services agencies in 2014 (Children’s Bureau, 2014)
  • In 2015, there were 51,656 reports of abuse and neglect in New York City (NYC City Council, 2015)
  • The most common forms of abuse and maltreatment reported to CPS agencies are neglect and physical abuse, 75% of the children reported to CPS are neglect cases (Children’s Bureau, 2014)
    • 17% are physical abuse cases (Children’s Bureau, 2014)
  • Young children are the most vulnerable to child abuse o 47% of victims of child abuse were 5 years old or younger (Children’s Bureau, 2014)

Child Abuse Perpetrator Statistics

  • 54.1% of child abuse perpetrators were women (Children’s Bureau, 2014)
  • 44.8% of child abuse perpetrators were men (Children’s Bureau, 2014)

Fatalities from Child Abuse

  • 1,580 children died of child abuse and neglect in the United States in 2014.
    • This is a rate of 2.13 deaths per 1,000 children (Children’s Bureau, 2014).
    • Over 70% of these fatalities occurred among children who were younger than 3 years old (Children’s Bureau, 2014).
  • Boys have a higher fatality rate than girls, with maltreatment-related fatalities occurring at a rate of 2.48 per 100,000 boys compared to 1.82 fatalities per 100,000 girls.
    • 43% of child fatalities occurred among White children
    • 30% occurred among African-American children
    • 15% occurred among Hispanic children. (Children’s Bureau, 2014)
  • Nearly 80% of child fatalities in the United States involved at least one parent as the perpetrator (Children’s Bureau, 2014)

Economic Impact of Child Abuse

  • The cost of addressing child maltreatment is approximately $124 billion (The Centers for Disease Control, 2012)

Lieutenant Donovan helping child victims

As part of the Bronx Child Advocacy Center’s multidisciplinary team of experts who investigate, respond to, and prosecute cases of child abuse, Lieutenant Michael Donovan explains the seamless way the team helps child victims of abuse get the justice they deserve.
Read Lieutenant Donovan's story →

Our Programs & Services

Child Advocacy Center

Helping the youngest victims of abuse heal and thrive.

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Counseling Centers

Help to Overcome the Impact of Abuse

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Our Impact

5,337 child victims benefitted from our services