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Child Abuse Rates Down for Fifth Consecutive Year

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Child abuse and neglect cases in the U.S. fell for the fifth straight year, according to a government report released Wednesday.

According to data gathered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, there were 681,000 cases of neglect or abuse in 2011, down from 723,000 five years ago.

“We have made excellent progress over the past five years,” said George Sheldon, acting assistant secretary of ACF, in a press release.  “But what this report tells me is that we still have 681,000 children out there who need our help.  We must continue coordination efforts among federal, state and local agencies to focus on child maltreatment prevention.”

The administration also tracked statistics on children facing abuse or maltreatment.  It found that 80.8 percent of abusers were the victim’s parent, and in 11.2 percent of cases the victim was physically or mentally disabled.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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