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Child Abuse

An estimated 763,000 children were exposed to incidents of child abuse and neglect in 2009. This means that 10 out of every 1,000 children suffered some form of abuse/neglect that year. Although even one incident of child abuse or neglect is too much, this is a decrease in the number of children who were exposed to abuse and neglect in 2009. Though the reduction is encouraging, efforts to prevent and eliminate child abuse and neglect continue.

The first step in helping abused or neglected children is learning to recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect. The presence of a single sign does not prove child abuse is occurring in a family, but a closer look at the situation may be warranted when these signs appear repeatedly or in combination. 

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Understanding Child Abuse

  • How to Report Suspected Child Maltreatment
  • Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect (Child Welfare Information Gateway)
  • Child Abuse (MedlinePlus)
  • Child Abuse (National Network for Child Care)
  • Child Abuse - Physical (ADAM)
  • Child Abuse - Sexual (ADAM)
  • Child Neglect and Psychological Abuse (ADAM)
  • Child Wellbeing and Safety
  • Sexual Child Abuse (MedlinePlus)
  • Understanding Child Traumatic Stress (National Child Traumatic Stress Network)
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  • Commonly Asked Questions


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  • A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety: Questions and Answers (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
  • Can a Short Fall Produce the Medical Findings of Shaken Baby Syndrome? (National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome)
  • Can Tossing or Rough Play Cause Shaken Baby Syndrome? (National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome)
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Shaken Baby Syndrome (National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome)
  • How many children are abused and neglected each year? (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
  • Questions About Children's Wellbeing and Safety
  • Questions and Answers about Child Sexual Abuse (National Center for PTSD - Department of Veterans Affairs)
  • What are the signs or symptoms of child abuse or neglect? (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
  • What can I do if I suspect child abuse and/or neglect? (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
  • What Can I Do to Prevent My Child from Being Sexually Abused? (American Academy of Pediatrics)
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  • Additional Information

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  • Meet Our Experts

    Robert Shapiro, MD
    University of Cincinnati

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    Last Updated: Mar 07, 2014