Child abuse and neglect cases cost $124 billion per year in America, according to a new report.
The lifetime costs--including health-care, lowered productivity and criminal justice costs--of every child abused in the United States each year totals nearly $124 billion in 2010 dollars, according to Xiangming Fang, PhD, of the Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and colleagues.
That amount, is based on an estimated lifetime cost of $210,012 for each nonfatal case and nearly $1.3 million for each fatal case, according to the study, which was reported in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect.
The $124 billion impact of child abuse and neglect cases costs about as much as strokes or type 2 diabetes do each year, according to the report.
No child should ever be the victim of abuse or neglect -- nor do they have to be. The human and financial costs can be prevented through prevention of child maltreatment, Linda C. Degutis, DrPH, director of the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
Physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, neglect and other associated woes have shown life-long social, economic and health impacts, the study finds.
Consequences of child abuse and neglect include higher medical costs, a more risk of engaging in criminal activity, and a increased need for special education, they noted.
In 2008, state and local child protection agencies and services fielded 3.3 million child abuse reports, 772,000 of whom were later classified as having been abused. The report cautions that many cases of abuse may not have been reported, so the numbers are likely actually much higher.
Child abuse has been a major news story in the past year, as Jerry Sandusky, a Penn State assistant football coach, was arrested in 2011 and charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse of boys over a 15-year period.