Six million allegedly maltreated children came onto the radar of Child Protective Services (CPS) nationwide in 2010 alone. After investigating these, CPS found that over 1,500 youngsters had died from abuse and neglect.

And these shocking numbers just keep growing, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Beyond that, the economic costs that come along with this abuse pose a huge burden on society at large. 

According to a report, the total lifetime estimated financial costs associated with just one year of confirmed cases of child maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and neglect) is approximately $124 billion.

The study specifically focuses on 1,740 fatal and 579,000 non-fatal child maltreatment cases over 12 months. Researchers found that each victim of child maltreatment who lived eventually racked up a lifetime cost of over $200,000 while the costs of each child death due to abuse or neglect was even higher. 

While there have been reports citing the link between the increase in child abuse and the current economic recession, researchers are investigating different preventative methods as the number of child maltreatment cases and deaths rise each year.  

Key findings from the center's statement include:

  • The estimated average lifetime cost per victim of nonfatal child maltreatment includes:

    • $32,648 in childhood health care costs
    • $10,530 in adult medical costs
    • $144,360 in productivity losses
    • $7,728 in child welfare costs
    • $6,747 in criminal justice costs
    • $7,999 in special education costs
  • The estimated average lifetime cost per death includes:
    • $14,100 in medical costs
    • $1,258,800 in productivity losses

Studies have shown that child abuse and neglect can be linked to numerous long term health problems such as depression and anxiety as well as behavioral consequences such as substance abuse and aggression. Furthermore, according to federal health officials, adults who suffered from abuse or neglect during their childhood are also more likely to attempt suicide in their later years.