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Juveniles as Victims
Child Maltreatment
Q: What are the characteristics of fatality victims of child maltreatment?
A: In 2019, 45% of all child fatality victims were under the age of one, the majority (58%) were male, and 44% were white.

Characteristics of fatality victims of child maltreatment, 2019

Estimated number of fatality victims 1,840
Fatality Rate*
2.5
Age
Under 1
45%
1
14%
2
11%
3
6%
4 to 7
11%
8 to 11
6%
12 to 17
7%
Unknown/missing
<0.5%
Gender
Male
58%
Female
41%
Unknown/missing
<0.5%
Race/ethnicity
White
44%
Black
29%
Hispanic
16%
Asian/Pacific Islander
1%
American Indian/Alaskan Native
1%
Multiple race
5%
Unknown/missing
3%
Reported maltreatment types of child fatalities**
Neglect
73%
Physical Abuse
44%
Other
8%
Medical Neglect
8%
Psychological Abuse
1%
Sexual Abuse
1%
Child fatalities by perpetrator relationship
Parent
80%
  Mother only
29%
  Two parents of known sex
23%
  Father only
14%
  Mother and Nonparent(s)
10%
  Father and Nonparent(s)
2%
  Two parents of known sex & Nonparent
2%
  Three parents of known sex
<0.5%
  One or more parents of unknown sex
<0.5%
Relative
5%
Unmarried partner of parent
2%
Other nonparent*
7%
Professional**
2%
Unknown
4%

Notes: Demographic and perpetrator relationship information is based on sample data reported by a varying number of states. Because the national estimate of child fatalities is influenced by which states report, even small fluctuations in the data can affect the national estimate and the national rate.
*Rate is per 100,000 children under 18 in the U.S. population.
*** 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.
****Other includes friends and neighbors, legal guardians, and other.

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  • Infants and toddlers (ages 0 to 3) accounted for 76% of child fatalities in 2019.
  • Eight in ten (80%) child fatalities in 2019 were caused by one or more parents; 29% were perpetrated by the mother acting alone.
  • Nearly three-fourths (73%) of fatalities in 2019 were the result of neglect.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/victims/qa02109.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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