Child Abuse Statistics

Child abuse does not discriminate based on gender, social standing, ethnicity, or religion. The child abuse statistics gathered on Ark of Hope for Children's site bring a sobering reality to the plight of victimized children. International child abuse statistics are difficult to come by due to the difficulty in keeping track of numbers even in "financially sound" countries. Many countries keep no or inadequate records.

International Statistics on Child Abuse

40 million children subjected to abuse each year.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents worldwide.

30% of severely disabled children in special homes in the Ukraine die before 18 years of age.

Approximately 20% of women and 5–10% of men report being sexually abused as children, while 25–50% of all children report being physically abused.

Statistics indicate that 3 million young girls are subjected to genital mutilation every year.

U.S. Statistics on Child Abuse

The United States is much more capable of gathering and maintaining statistics of all types. 

Physical Abuse:

Acts considered to be physical abuse are punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning, breaking of bones, hair pulling, and shaking an infant. Bruises in areas that usually do not occur during normal play = cheeks, ears, mouth, buttocks, thighs, stomach, and back.


Neglect makes up for 78% of all cases of child abuse, and is greatly under-reported and often unnoticed by others who care for the child. Neglect includes inadequate nutrition, clothing and hygiene; medical neglect, being left unattended in a car, and abandonment.

Sexual Abuse:

Child rape occurs every two minutes

1 in 3 girls will be sexually molested before the age 17

1 in 6 boys will be sexually molested before the age 17 (1 in 5 in Canada)

A sex offender will molest an average of 120 victims, most of whom do not report it

90% of molesters abuse children they know

Oftentimes, a sexually abused child is abused in other ways


Overall U.S. child abuse statistics:

Every 10 seconds a child is abused or raped

3.3 million child abuse reports in 2010

For every report 2 more go unreported = many millions abused annually

61,000 reports to Child Protective services per week = 6 per minute

Of 1.5 million runaways 85% are fleeing some form of abuse

Only 10% of abusers do not know their abuser well

Abuse victims = about 48% male, 52% female

Every race and religion sees child abuse


The effects of UNTREATED child abuse:

38% increase arrest rate for violent crimes

84% of all prison inmates had been abused as a child

59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile

28% more likely to be arrested as an adult

30% more likely to commit violent crime

65%+ of people in treatment for drug abuse have been maltreated as a child

25% less likely to practice safe sex, putting them at a greater risk for STD's

82% CAN grow up to be pedophiles themselves

80% meet criteria for at least one psychological disorder as adults

Long-term consequences such as chronic illness due to untreated wounds


Child death and suicide related to abuse:

1,850 children die a year from some form of child abuse = 7+ children a day in the U.S. alone!

80% of the children that die each day are under the age of four

Estimated 60% of child deaths caused by child abuse are not recorded as such on death certificates


Source: Arkofhopeforchildren