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Price of child abuse/neglect in U.S.: $124 billion

Centers for Disease Control calls it a “public health problem”

The total lifetime estimated financial associated with just one year of confirmed cases of child maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and neglect) is approximately $124 billion, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

That figure is an an article published recently in Child Abuse and Neglect, The International Journal.

This study looked at confirmed child maltreatment cases, 1,740 fatal and 579,000 non–fatal, for a 12–month period. The lifetime cost for each victim of child maltreatment who lived was $210,012, which is comparable to other costly health conditions, such as stroke with a lifetime cost per person estimated at $159,846 or type 2 diabetes, which is estimated between $181,000 and $253,000. The costs of each death due to child maltreatment are even higher.

Linda Degutis

Linda Degutis

“No child should ever be the victim of abuse or neglect – nor do they have to be. The human and financial costs can be prevented through prevention of child maltreatment,” said Linda C. Degutis, Dr.P.H., M.S.N., director of CDC′s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

Child maltreatment has been shown to have many negative effects on survivors, including poorer health, social and emotional difficulties, and decreased economic productivity. This CDC study found these negative effects over a survivor′s lifetime generate many costs that impact the nation′s health care, education, criminal justice and welfare systems.

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Feb. 1, 2012, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, “Child abuse and neglect cost the United States $124 billion”

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