The United States has the highest child abuse record in the industrialized world. The statistics behind an ''epidemic'' of child deaths state every five hours a child dies from abuse or neglect in the U.S., the BBC investigation reveals.
Every week, 66 children under 15 die from physical abuse or neglect in the developed world, 27 of them in the U.S. However, the statistics with both regard to the numbers and ways of abuse varies from state to state.
The BBC’s journalist Natalia Antelava reports while the Dallas Children's Medical Center deals with a rising number of abused children and increasing levels of violence, the Houston Center is expanding its services to deal with the rising problem of child sex abuse.
The American child maltreatment death rate is triple Canada's and 11 times that of Italy. Why?
A part of the answer lies in the high rates of teen pregnancy, high-school dropout rates, violent crime, imprisonment, and poverty, Michael Petit, President of Every Child Matters, says.
A significant role in the mix of other factors certainly can be found in the social support – other developed countries have social policies that provide easily accessible services such as child care, universal health insurance, pre-school, parental leave and visiting nurses.
Petit also says higher taxes may mean more safety for children. For example, children from low tax states such as Texas are twice as likely to drop out of high school, four times more likely to be uninsured, and nearly twice as likely to die from abuse and neglect as children from Vermont, a high-tax, high-service state.
According to the President of Every Child Matters, the U.S. needs national strategy to deal with this terrifying situation, and an adoption of legislation that would create a National Commission to End Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities would be a good start.