Child abuse rates have risen significantly since the economy went into recession, survey in Ky. and 3 other states shows

Child abuse rose as the economy went into recession, shows a study of reported abuse to children under 5 in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington.

From 2004 to December 2007, before the financial meltdown, the rate of abusive head trauma in the four states was 8.9 per 100,000 children. During 2008 and 2009, the number jumped to 14.7 per 100,000. Though the study established no cause-and-effect relationship between financial difficulties and an increase in abuse, “earlier research has tied parental stress to child maltreatment,” Frederik Joelving of Reuters Health reports.

The study “showed that from 2004 to 2009, there were 422 children diagnosed with what doctors call ‘abusive head trauma.’ The majority ended up in intensive care units, and 16 percent died of their injuries,” Joelving reports. The average child examined in the study was 9 months old.

“The number-one perpetrators are fathers and male caretakers; very few perpetrators are mothers,” said Rachel Berger, a child-abuse expert at nationally recognized Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh and co-author of the study. “It’s the people that mothers give their kids to that end up being the perpetrator(s).” (Read more)

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