A recent study found one in 50 infants in the US suffer nonfatal child abuse or neglect each year. The study, which is believed to be the first of its kind in that age group, is particularly disturbing considering infants are so vulnerable and voiceless.
Child welfare officials define neglect as a "failure to meet a child's basic needs including housing, clothing, feeding and access to medical care." Here's more:
- The study focused on children younger than one year, and found nearly a third were one week old or younger when the abuse or neglect occurred.
- The researchers counted more than 91,000 infant victims of abuse and neglect in the period October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2006.
- About 30,000 of the cases involved infants aged one week or younger. About 68 percent of those cases were attributed to neglect.
I can't help but have a guttural reaction to these findings and the idea that such a high percentage of infants aren't being properly cared for. Do you think the numbers are accurate?