The familial cycles of child abuse and it’s connection to social issues are undeniable. We must look at the scope of the child exploitation statistics as it correlates to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, to fully understand the long-term implications. When we ignore our most vulnerable children, we enable the reactive destruction of our communities.
SOCIETAL IMPACTS OF CHILD ABUSE
Wherever you find substance abuse, mental health, homelessness, and crime you will find that nearly 80% of those involved also suffered severe child abuse and neglect. When we ignore child exploitation, we enable the reactive destruction of our communities. For decades, our nation’s most vulnerable children have been crying out for help. Unfortunately, their cries have mostly gone ignored.
Approx. 23 million people in the U.S.A. struggle with substance abuse. 2/3 of all addicts report being abused. 78% of all new child maltreatment cases are due to severe neglect. As a result, children who grow up around substance abuse, are x3 more likely to experience physical or sexual abuse. They are also x4 more likely to experience severe neglect over their piers.
1.2 million cases of violent crime occur each year. Child exploitation doubles the probability that victims will engage in some form of crime as an adult. Nearly 70% of all incarcerated male felons reported some form of early childhood abuse. Most reported that abuses occurred before the age of 12. But, the most common form of exploitation was physical abuse. Children within 5+ foster homes are high risk of institutionalization.
Severe Mental Illness
Approx. 13.1 million in the U.S.A. struggle with mental illness. 80% of young adults who reported childhood abuse met the criteria for at least one mental health diagnosis. Abused children are x2 more likely to suffer from PTSD than U.S. war veterans. The younger the child is during severe exploitation the more devastating the effects on their brain & emotional development. Emotional abuse causes psychological & nervous system damage like physical abuse.
860,000 convicted sex offenders in U.S.A. 1-in-3 teens enter prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home. A child abuse history increases risks. x10 more likely to be a victim of sexual abuse over their piers. 1-in-3 girls and 1-in-5 boys are officially reported as victims of sexual abuse. 60% of victims have never told anyone.
There are 3 million domestic violence reports / year. 1-in-3 children exposed to prolonged abuse will grow up to abuse their own children. Girls who grow up in a violent home are 200% more likely to be victimized as adults. Boys who grow up in a violent home are more than twice as likely to become a perpetrator of abuse themselves once they become an adult.
Up to 250,000 human trafficking victims are within the U.S.A. Over 60% of all human trafficking victims rescued by the FBI within the U.S.A. have a history in foster care. Many are runaways with a severe exploitation history. With no family to return to once rescued. Over 14% of all missing children nationwide are suspected to be trafficked.