It is important to provide the devastating effects of child abuse and neglect because the only thing we hear about in the media are the staggering statistics about physical illnesses in all their forms. This series provides a broad overview of what millions of children and adults have to cope with because of parental/caretaker abuse.
- One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted before the age of eighteen.
- The rate of child abuse and neglect is 10 times as high (40 children per 1,000 children per year) as the incidence rate for all forms of cancer (3.9 individuals per thousand individuals per year).
- Children in the age group of birth to 1 year had the highest rate of victimization (24.4 children per 1,000 children in 2006) of the same age group in the national population.
- 80% of perpetrators are the parents.
- Abdominal/Thoracic Injuries: Pediatric blunt chest and abdominal trauma is the second leading cause of fatal child abuse with a 40-50% mortality rate.
- Brain Injuries: Brain injury is the leading cause of death in abused children.
- Central Nervous Injuries:
- When experienced in childhood, trauma produces neurobiological impacts on the brain, causing dysfunction in the hippocampus, amygdala, medical prefrontal cortex, and other limbic structures.
- A history of child abuse or neglect can lower a person’s overall immunity and ability to manage stress, and that this effect may be long-lasting.
- Disability: The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN) estimated that the incidence of disabilities caused by or likely to be caused by physical abuse was 147 per 1,000 maltreated children. 
- Fractures/Head Injuries:
- Orofacial trauma occurs in at least 50% of children diagnosed with physical abuse. 
- 95% of serious intracranial injuries and 64% of all head injuries in infants younger than 1 year were attributable to child abuse. 
- Ocular Damage: Retinal and vitreous hemorrhages and non-hemorrhagic changes, including retinal folds and traumatic retinoschisis, are characteristic of shaken baby syndrome. Mortality rates range from 15-38%among infant victims of shaken baby syndrome. 
Sexual and Reproductive
- Psychogenic Infertility (Relationship between psychological factors and infertility): Approximately 10% of the infertile population may be affected. 
- Reproductive Health Problems:
- Sexual abuse during childhood is associated with high-risk behaviors later in life, including alcohol and drug use, early consensual sexual experience, and a high number of partners. 
- More than 32,000 pregnancies yearly are estimated to result from rape, mostly in adolescents. 
- Unwanted/Teenage Pregnancy: 62% of pregnant and parenting female adolescents were found to have experienced molestation, attempted rape or rape prior to their first pregnancy. 
- 79% of incest survivors report feelings of fear, mistrust, hostility, and a sense of betrayal in their relationships with men. 
- 87% of a clinical sample of adults molested as children had “serious” sexual problems, as opposed to 20% of those clients without a sexual abuse history. 
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Including HIV/AIDS
- Abused boys and girls are more likely to have intercourse at earlier ages and have more sexual partners than their peers. These behaviors put them at risk for acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs), becoming pregnant, or getting someone pregnant. 
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