(WASHINGTON) — While still unacceptably high, the Department of Health and Human Services announced on Monday that the number of cases involving child abuse and neglect victims fell again in 2012 for the sixth year in a row.
According to Mark Greenberg, acting assistant secretary for HHS’ Administration for Children and Families, there were 686,000 cases of child abuse or neglect last year, a drop from approximately 723,000 reported abuse cases in 2007.
Nonetheless, fatalities attributable to child abuse and neglect increased to 1,640 in 2012, from 1,580 a year earlier.
Greenberg said in a statement, “The overall reduction in abuse and neglect is encouraging, but there are still significant areas for improvement,” adding that the rise in fatalities may be due to improved reporting.
Meanwhile, the HHS also released some statistics related to the abuse and neglect of children, including that eight in ten abusers were the victim’s parent, while 6 percent were other family members.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Euan McKirdy and Natalie L. Gallón, CNN
Greg Botelho, CNN Newswire