Wednesday, October 04, 2006

End Child Abuse, part 2

Just a few more things about child abuse from the article and talk I mentioned yesterday.

Even though the “most common age at which (child) sexual abuse begins is three”, the average age of victims who get to court is 10, with a median of 13. This occurs because we don’t “find” the cases as early as we ought and because of the general inability and/or unwillingness to work with children at the young age at which we should “work” with them. The current system is failing these kids. It must be fixed.

Despite the fact that child abuse and neglect is a “public health epidemic” we, as a society, do not invest the resources we should to address it. The toll on individuals and on society is huge, but our efforts are limited. Despite the fact that the rate of child abuse is 10 times greater than the rate of cancer, “federal research dollars invested is 5 cents for every $100 of societal cost associated with child abuse whereas we invest $2 for every $100 of societal cost associated with cancer”.

We need a systemic, coordinated national effort to end (or nearly eradicate) child abuse and neglect in our country. We need to support efforts to do that.

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