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How prevalent is child abuse in Arizona?

April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month. Many Arizona residents are not aware of just how prevalent child abuse and neglect are within our state.
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Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse, and we are responsible for protecting them. You may be a child’s only advocate at the time you report. Many Arizona residents are not aware of just how prevalent child abuse and neglect are within our state.

According to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Arizona and the Arizona Child Fatality Review (CFR) Program:

  • More than 24,000 calls received by the Arizona Child Abuse Hotline between April and September 2016 met the statutory criteria to prompt a DCS report.
  • Approximately 18,000 children were being cared for by the foster care system between April to September 2016 due to some child abuse and neglect.
  • In 2015, 87 children died as a result of abuse or neglect, accounting for more than 10 percent of all child fatalities in the state of Arizona.
  • In cases of child death due to maltreatment, the perpetrator was the child’s mother or father 79 percent of the time.
  • Alcohol, drug, or substance use contributed to more than 60 percent of child maltreatment fatalities in 2015.

Arizona child abuse laws criminalize physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of minors and also require certain third parties with knowledge of the abuse to report it to the authorities.

The Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) investigates reports of child abuse and neglect in the state.

According to the Arizona DCS child abuse and neglect can occur in different forms, including:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Neglect
  • Emotional abuse of a child
  • Exploitation
  • Abandonment

It is mandatory for physicians, resident, dentist, chiropractor, medical examiner, nurse, psychologist, social worker, school personnel, peace officer, parent, counselor, clergyman/priest to report child abuse as penalty for failure to report or false reporting is a class one misdemeanor.

In an effort to protect that child call the toll free Arizona Child Abuse Hotline at 1-888-SOS-CHILD (1-888-767-2445).

Child abuse facts according ChildHelp.org:

A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds.

Individuals who reported six or more adverse childhood experiences had an average life expectancy two decades shorter than those who reported none.

Five children die every day from child abuse and neglect, usually being two years of age or younger, where at least one parent is the perpetrator.

As many as two-thirds of the people in treatment for drug abuse reported being abused or neglected as children.

Children who experience child abuse and neglect are about nine times more likely to become involved in criminal activity.