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CDC: Child Abuse, Neglect Cost United States Billions


Child abuse and neglect doesn’t only have a huge social impact, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control it has is a huge financial burden.

The report released Wednesday found that just one year of confirmed cases of child maltreatment – meaning physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and neglect – costs about $124 billion.

The study gathered data from 1,740 fatal and 579,000 non-fatal child abuse and neglect cases for a 12-month period. The lifetime cost for each victim of child maltreatment who lived was $210,012, which compares to other costly health ailments, such as stroke with a lifetime cost per individual of approximately $159,846 or type 2 diabetes, which runs between $181,000 and $253,000.

The costs associated with death from child abuse are even higher.

“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 Dr. Linda Degutis, Director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, in a statement.

Not only does child abuse affect the child in profound ways, it also impacts on survivors, including poorer health, social and emotional difficulties, and lowered economic productivity.

CDC study found these harsh effects over a survivors lifetime, also impacts costs on the nations health care, education, welfare and criminal justice systems.

Some of the financial results are as follows:

The estimated average lifetime cost per victim of nonfatal child maltreatment includes:

  • $32,648 in childhood health care costs
  • $10,530 in adult medical costs
  • $144,360 in productivity losses
  • $7,728 in child welfare costs
  • $6,747 in criminal justice costs
  • $7,999 in special education costs
  • The estimated average lifetime cost per death includes:

  • $14,100 in medical costs
  • $1,258,800 in productivity losses

Researchers also learned that child maltreatment is also related to a number of emotional, physical, and behavioral problems. Some of the associated emotional and behavioral problems are, depression, anxiety, suicide, initiate partner violence, substance abuse, antisocial behavior, among other issues.

Federal, state, and local public health agencies as well as policymakers must advance the awareness of the lifetime economic impact of child maltreatment and take immediate action with the same momentum and intensity dedicated to other high profile public health problems, in order to save lives, protect the public’s health , and save money,” said Dr Degutis.

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