After two years of child abuse instances decreasing in the state, the Iowa Department of Human Services reported an increase in 2009.
Those numbers are mirrored throughout the four-county region, except in Louisa County where the downward trend continued last year.
Last year, Des Moines County had 147 founded and 29 confirmed cases of child abuse of 501 total incidents. That’s up from 2008, which had 119 founded and 25 confirmed cases of child abuse of 438 total incidents. Confirmed cases are minor and isolated cases of maltreatment where the perpetrator is not listed on the child abuse registry, according to DHS.
“When people see the words ‘child abuse,’ immediately conjured in their head is an image of some child locked in a room with a broken arm or burns … and truth be told, that does happen but it’s extremely rare,” DHS spokesman Roger Munns said.
Instead, he said most instances of child abuse are considered a denial of critical care or neglect. That means more than extreme poverty but ignoring a child’s needs due to being absent or substance abuse, for instance.
By the time you finish reading this, 15 children will have been abused; In the next five minutes, 30 more; Within the next hour, 360 more; And by tonight, close to 8,000+ children will have suffered from abuse, 5 of which will die. Child abuse has increased 134% since 1980 and is now considered a worldwide epidemic. The high jump in child abuse deaths and the shocking increase in statistics highlights the frightening lack of public knowledge.
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It May Just Save a Child's Life!!