Even one case of child abuse is one too many: According to the latest data from the federal government, there were 8,264 confirmed cases of child abuse in New Jersey in 2016, the most recent year for which stats are available. That works out to 4.2 cases of abuse per 1,000 children. But what’s truly shocking about that figure is that it’s down -8.5 percent since 2012.
Nearby Connecticut had 7,803 confirmed cases overall. New York had 65,123; Pennsylvania, 4,355.
All told, in 2016, there were an estimated 676,000 victims of abuse and neglect. This equates to a national rate of 9.1 victims per 1,000 children in the population.
This data is compiled in the Child Maltreatment Report, which has been published for the past 27 years. It also reveals that 6,560 of New Jersey’s confirmed cases represent first-time abuse.
The numbers are even more disheartening when broken out by the age of the victims: 1,068 are under 1 year old; 522 are between 1 and 2, while 515 are between 2 and 3.
Those numbers track the nationwide trends. According to the report, “the youngest children are the most vulnerable to maltreatment. In FFY 2016, 50 states and the District of Columbia reported that more than one-quarter (28.5 percent) of victims were younger than 3 years. The victimization rate was highest for children younger than 1 year (24.8 per 1,000 children in the population of the same age).
It also indicates that 3,952 victims were boys; 4,298 were girls (14 cases were unknown). A total of 2,505 victims were black; 2,379 were Hispanic; 2,876 were white. (Numbers do not include Native Americans and other ethnicities.)
The data is collected and analyzed by the Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, and the Children’s Bureau, which are all part of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.