Date of this Version



© 1996, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This publication examines causes and prevention of child abuse.

Child abuse was not recognized as a serious problem in the U.S. until the 1960s. Data collected by The Children's Defense fund reveals that a child is reported abused or neglected every 13 seconds, of every hour, of every day, 365 days per year. This means that nearly three million boys and girls are confirmed as being abused each year--two percent of the nation's children. In 1995, 140,000 children were treated in hospitals and 2,000 children died from the abuse.

In Nebraska in the last ten years, approximately 8,000 cases of child abuse and neglect have been investigated each year. In 1995, 4,000 Nebraska children (52% female and 48% male) were substantiated victims of child abuse and neglect. Neglect was found in 64 percent of confirmed cases, physical abuse in 28 percent, and sexual abuse in 12 percent of confirmed cases (according to the Nebraska Department of Social Services Report on Child Abuse and Neglect Annual Statistics for Calendar Year 1995). In some cases, more than one type of abuse was involved.