Study Finds Sharp Drop in Child Abuse

Public awareness campaigns credited with helping abuse drop 26% since '93
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2010 4:09 AM CST
Updated Feb 3, 2010 6:00 AM CST
"There's much more public awareness and public intolerance around child abuse now," said Linda Spears, the Child Welfare League of America's vice president for public policy.    (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – Cases of child abuse and neglect have fallen sharply since the early '90s, according a huge federal study. A total of 553,000 children suffered physical, emotional, or sexual abuse in 2005-6, the study found, down 26% from the 743,200 abuse victims in 1993. Cases of sexual abuse were down 38%. Experts say the results show that crackdowns and public awareness campaigns are working.

The figures show that "the mobilization around this issue is helping and it's a problem that is amenable to solutions," a leading researcher in the field of child abuse tells the AP, crediting a "troop surge" in child protection services with having helped reduce abuse. "There's also been a general change in perceptions and norms about what one can get away with, so much more publicity about these things," he said.

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