The maltreatment of children includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse as well as neglect. Complaints of neglect account for about 70% of all child abuse reports followed by physical abuse (20%) and sexual abuse (10%). Each year, more than 3 million complaints of child abuse involving more than 6 million children are reported to our nation’s child protective services, and nearly 1 million of these reports are substantiated. At least 1,500 American children die from physical abuse and neglect each year, and about 80% of our children that die from physical abuse are under the age of 4. The UN has recently reported that about two thirds of children worldwide are physically abused by their caretakers on a regular basis. At least 100,000 children are also reported to be sexually abused each year but this actual total is likely much higher. It is estimated that more than 70% of child victims do not report sexual abuse to anyone for a year and 45% do not tell anyone for at least 5 years. In over 90% of all sexual assaults, the victim knows the perpetrator. Child advocates claim the number of physical child abuse cases is also greatly underreported. Many victims and witnesses do not report these domestic assaults due to fears of retaliation, family disruption or many other reasons. They say this shows the need to develop prevention programs that reduce death and disability from child abuse, including strategies that help parents and caregivers respond in nonviolent ways to the stresses of caring for young children.
Child abuse is not limited to the home. Many thousands of our teenagers attend private and public residential treatment programs where physical or sexual abuse can occur. These programs, including wilderness and boot camps and therapeutic and behavior-modification facilities, assist children with mental, behavioral, emotional and substance abuse problems. Recent studies have found the strategies used by some of these programs, including strenuous exercise without being allowed to drink water, restrained confinement in small spaces and sexual abuse by staff have resulted in many injuries and several deaths.
H.R.1311 – Kilah Davenport Child Protection Act of 2013 (113th Congress 2013-2014)
I oppose reforming current child abuse policy
I support improving training for school personnel to recognize the signs of child sexual abuse, and wish to identify a legislator who will either reintroduce S.756 – Helping Schools Protect Our Children Act of 2013 (113th Congress 2013-2013), or a similar version thereof
I support prohibiting grants to a state for specified child abuse or neglect prevention and treatment programs until the state’s laws provide for a criminal punishment, including a prison term of at least 3,800 days, for any individual providing care of a child under age 16, and intentionally inflicts on that child any serious bodily injury or permanent or protracted loss or impairment of any of the child’s mental or emotional function, and wish to identify a legislator who will either reintroduce H.R.1311 – Kilah Davenport Child Protection Act of 2013 (113th Congress 2013-2014), or a similar version thereof