National Statistics on Child Abuse

National Statistics on Child Abuse1

In 2014, an estimated 1,564 children died from abuse and neglect in the United States.1 In 2015, Children’s Advocacy Centers around the country served more than 300,0002 child victims of abuse, providing victim advocacy and support to these children and their families.

More than 700,000 children are abused in the U.S annually. An estimated 702,000 children (unique incidents) were victims of abuse and neglect in 2014, the most recent year of national data.

CPS protects nearly 3 million children. Forty-seven states reported approximately 2.9 million children received preventative services from child protective services agencies.

The youngest children were most vulnerable to maltreatment. Children in the first year of their life had the highest rate of victimization of 24.4 per 1,000 children in the national population of the same age.

Neglect is the most common form of maltreatment. Of the children who experienced maltreatment or abuse, nearly 80% suffered neglect; 18% suffered physical abuse; and 9% suffered sexual abuse. (Some children are polyvictimized—they have suffered more than one form of maltreatment.)

About four out of five abusers are the victims’ parents. A parent of the child victim was the perpetrator in 78% of substantiated cases of child maltreatment. 

How Children's Advocacy Centers Served Children: Statistics 2

Children’s Advocacy Centers served more than 311,000 children around the country in 2014. Here’s a snapshot of these children. 

Child Victims Served by CACs by Age, 2015 | Ages 0-6, 37%; Ages 7-12, 37%; Ages 13-17, 26%

Two-thirds of children served disclosed sexual abuse (205,438).

Nearly 20% of children served disclosed physical abuse (60,897).

211,831 children received on-site forensic interviewing at a Children’s Advocacy Center.

People Investigated for Abuse

People Investigated by Age | 18+ 77%; 13-17, 13%; Under 13, 10% | Relationship to Victim | Known, not family, 10%; Parent or Caregiver, 39%; Relative of Child, 51%

Of those alleged to have abused children, nearly a quarter were themselves children.

Almost 40% were a parent or caregiver of the child victim.

Fully 90% of alleged abusers were related in some way to the child victim. 

2015 Children's Advocacy Center Raw Statistics


All national child abuse statistics cited from U.S. Administration for Children & Families, Child Maltreatment 2014. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/child-maltreatment-2014 

National Children’s Alliance 2015 national statistics collected from Children’s Advocacy Center members and available on the NCA website: http://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/cac-statistics