New Report Shows the Crippling Cost of Child Abuse

This month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report quantifying the costs of child maltreatment in the United States. The report underscores that child maltreatment is a serious public health issue with financial impacts comparable to a stroke and Type 2 diabetes. What the report does not quantify is the loss of a child’s innocence. What is the price of the smile on a baby’s face when he takes his first steps, or on the 8-year-old who scores her first goal, or on the 12-year-old who wins his class spelling bee? What about the joy and love brought into the lives of family and friends by that child?

Florida Symposium Focuses on Legal Representation for Abused and Neglected Children

In Florida, a two-day symposium will bring together leading national advocates and experts to discuss the legal representation of abused and neglected children. Organizers of the symposium, sponsored by the American Bar Association, say there is an urgent need to raise public awareness that abused children need to have lawyers protecting them in all court proceedings. The program begins with a media briefing Thursday, Feb. 9 followed by a symposium Friday, Feb. 10.

Michelle Barclay and Patricia Buonodono On Danielle’s Story

*Danielle was born HIV positive. Her mother, while constantly in and out of jail, abused alcohol while pregnant with her. Her father couldn’t manage to care for her, often forgetting to give her the HIV medications she needed to survive. She was a year old when she entered foster care. Her father had finally given up, dropping her off at an AIDS clinic, saying he couldn’t handle it any more.

Fewer Than Half of Crimes Against Children Reported to Authorities

Crimes against kids go largely unreported, says a study by researchers at the University of New Hampshire.  Of the more than 4,500 children ages 10 to 17 surveyed for the study, 58 percent reported being the victim of a crime in the last year.  However, only 46 percent reported the incident to authorities. The study, published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, says that, because of the fear of retaliation, cases of abuse and violence against children often go unreported.  In many cases families chose to handle incidents informally, without involving police, due to the sensitive nature of the crimes.  The study’s authors say this often prevents the victims from receiving needed counseling. Crimes most likely to be reported included bullying, neglect and theft, researchers said.