(UNDATED) – Indiana has the second highest rate of child abuse and neglect in the nation, and the numbers continue to grow, according to a new report released by the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Fifty-nine children died as a result of abuse or neglect in Indiana in 2016, according to the Indiana Department of Child Services most recent annual report of child abuse and neglect fatalities.
Nationally, 1,720 children died from abuse and neglect in 2017, an increase of 11 percent from 2013.
Victims of abuse
The Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that there were 29,198 child victims of abuse and neglect in Indiana in 2017, an increase of 34.2 percent since 2013.
More than 60 percent of victims in Indiana was less than a year old.
Statewide, 18.6 children per 1,000 children were abused or neglected in 2017, a rate that falls second to Kentucky’s 22.2 children per 1,000.
Most Indiana victims experienced a form of neglect (89.1%), while 6.4% experienced physical abuse and 9.2% experienced sexual violence.
According to Prevent Child Abuse Indiana, abuse and neglect have both short- and long-term effects, including brain damage, developmental delays, learning disorders, aggressive behaviors, depression and trouble forming relationships.
The initial abuse and neglect can lead to problems later in life that can affect society as a whole; 13% of all violence can be linked to earlier child abuse or neglect.
Some of the warning signs that a child might be abused or neglected include:
- Frequent or unexplained bruise or injuries
- Nervousness around adults
- Aggression toward adults or other children
- Inability to stay awake or concentrate for extended periods
- Sudden, dramatic change in activities or personality
- Acting out sexually or showing interest in sex that is inappropriate for that age
- Low self-esteem
- Poor hygiene
What to Report
- The child’s name
- Address of the child or where abuse is occurring
- The suspected perpetrator’s name (if known)
- A description of what you have seen or heard
- The names of any other people having knowledge of the abuse
- Your name and phone number (you can report anonymously)
Where to Report
Contact Child Protective Services at 800-800-5556 or the National Child Abuse Hotline at 800-422-4453.
Information, Haley Cawthon, CNHI Indiana