U.S. Department of Justice, Office Of Justice Programs, Innovation - Partnerships - Safer Neighborhoods
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Serving Children, Families, and Communities
OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book logo jump over products navigation bar
OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book logoAbout SSBFrequently Asked QuestionsPublicationsData Analysis ToolsNational Data SetsOther ResourcesAsk a Question

Juvenile Population Characteristics
Juveniles as Victims
Overview
Related FAQs
Related Publications
Related Links
Data Analysis Tools
Juveniles as Offenders
Juvenile Justice System Structure & Process
Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Juveniles in Court
Juveniles on Probation
Juveniles in Corrections
Juvenile Reentry & Aftercare
Special Topics
Data Snapshot
Statistical Briefing Book Home

OJJDP logo

Link to Printer-priendly versionPrinter-friendly
Juveniles as Victims
Child Maltreatment
Q: What are the characteristics of child maltreatment victims?
A: In 2020, 34% of child maltreatment victims were under age 3, more than half were female (51%), 44% were white, and the majority (61%) experienced neglect.

Characteristics of child maltreatment victims, 2020

Estimated number of unique victims 618,000
 
Victimization rate* 8.4
 
Age
0 to 3
35%
4 to 7
22%
8 to 11
19%
12 to 15
18%
16 to 17
6%
Unknown/missing
<0.5%
 
Gender
Male
48%
Female
52%
Unknown/missing
<0.5%
 
Race/ethnicity
White
43%
Black
21%
Hispanic
24%
American Indian/Alaskan Native
2%
Asian/Pacific Islander
1%
Multiple race
6%
Unknown/missing
4%
 
Maltreatment type**
Neglect
76%
Physical abuse
16%
Sexual abuse
10%
Psychological maltreatment
6%
Medical neglect
2%
Other abuse
6%
Sex trafficking
<0.5%
Unknown/missing
<0.5%
 
Victim relationship to perpetrator***
Parent
91%
Mother Only
38%
Father Only
24%
Two Parents of known sex
21%
Mother and Nonparent
6%
Father and Nonparent
1%
Two Parents of known sex and Nonparent
1%
Three Parents of known sex
<0.5%
One or more Parents of Unknown Sex
<0.5%
Relative
5%
Unmarried partner of parent
3%
Other nonparent****
2%
Professional*****
1%
Other/unknown
6%

Notes: *Rate is per 1,000 children under 18 in the U.S. population.
**If a child has been the victim of two or more maltreatment types, they are counted in each maltreatment category. "Sex Trafficking" was introduced as a new maltreatment type in 2018. In 2020, 35 states reported data on Sex Trafficking.
***A child may be victimized by multiple people therefore, the percentages total more than 100.0 percent.
****Other nonparent includes friends and neighbors, legal guardians, more than one non-parental perpetrators.
*****Professional includes adults who care for children as part of their employment duties, such as child daycare providers, foster parents (non-relative), and group home staff, as well as other professionals.
Percentages are based on the unique count of child victims and should not be compared to years prior to 2010. This table is based on sample data reported by a varying number of states.

[ CSV file ]

  • More than one-third of maltreatment victims in 2020 were infants or toddlers ages 03.
  • Females made up just over half (52%) of all maltreatment victims in 2020.
  • White children accounted for 43% of all victims, 24% were Hispanic children, and 21% were Black children.
  • Neglect (76%) was the most common form of maltreatment in 2020.
  • An estimated 1,750 children died as the result of maltreatment in 2020.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/victims/qa02102.asp?qaDate=2020. Released on April 18, 2022.

Data Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families. Child Maltreatment 2020. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

 

USA.gov | Privacy | Policies & Disclaimers | FOIA | Site Map | Ask a Question | OJJDP Home
A component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice