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Juveniles as Victims
Child Maltreatment
Q: What are the characteristics of child maltreatment victims?
A: In 2019, 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, 2019

Estimated number of unique victims 656,000
 
Victimization rate* 8.9
 
Age
0 to 3
34%
4 to 7
22%
8 to 11
20%
12 to 15
17%
16 to 17
6%
Unknown/missing
<0.5%
 
Gender
Male
48%
Female
51%
Unknown/missing
<0.5%
 
Race/ethnicity
White
44%
Black
21%
Hispanic
23%
American Indian/Alaskan Native
1%
Asian/Pacific Islander
1%
Multiple race
5%
Unknown/missing
4%
 
Maltreatment type**
Neglect only
61%
Physical abuse only
10%
Sexual abuse only
7%
Psychological maltreatment only
2%
Medical neglect only
1%
Other abuse
3%
Multiple maltreatment types
16%
Unknown/missing
<0.5%
 
Victim relationship to perpetrator***
Parent
91%
Mother only
39%
Father only
23%
Two parents of known sex
21%
Mother and Nonparent
6%
Father and Nonparent
1%
Two parents of known sex & 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 once in the multiple maltreatment category.
In 2018, "Sex Trafficking" was introduced as a new maltreatment type. For 2019, 29 states reported data on Sex Trafficking; these counts are included in the "Sex abuse only" category.
***A child may be victimized by multiple perpetrators 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.

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  • More than one-third of maltreatment victims in 2019 were infants or toddlers ages 03.
  • Females made up just over half (51%) of all maltreatment victims in 2019.
  • White children accounted for 44% of all victims, 23% were Hispanic children, and 21% were black children.
  • Neglect only (61%) was the most common form of maltreatment in 2019.
  • An estimated 1,840 children died as the result of maltreatment in 2019.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/victims/qa02102.asp?qaDate=2019. Released on August 30, 2021.

Data Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families. Child Maltreatment 2019. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

 

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