Child abuse or maltreatment can have a profound impact on development and later adult health, and the issue seems to be directly intertwined with poverty. A recent report from the state Department of Children and Families cites statistics showing that in 2012 — the most recently data readily available — 9,250 children in New Jersey were victims of abuse or maltreatment.
The majority of the cases — 74 percent — were classified as neglect, with 7 percent as sexual abuse, 8 percent as physical abuse, and 11 percent as multiple types.
In 2012, there were 16 child fatalities due to abuse, or 0.079 per 100,000 children. Nationally, the rate of fatalities is 2.2 per 100,000 children.
When looked at geographically, most abuse seemed to occur in the poorest areas of the state — much of South Jersey and parts of Essex and Hudson Counties, as well as Trenton and Paterson.