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While the number of children subject to abuse or neglect has dropped over the past decade, it is undoubtedly the case that child abuse and neglect remains one of the most serious concerns for children in the United States. Nationwide, nearly 702,000 children (or 9.3 out of 1,000) were subject to some form of abuse in the Fiscal Year 2009, a drop from even the year before (10.3 victims per 1,000 children), and a significant drop from earlier recorded findings in 1995 (15 victims per 1,000). Still, the numbers remain alarmingly high, particularly given the dire consequences. A number of studies have noted that the impact of abuse and neglect can last an entire lifetime; it can include, among other things, physical health issues (such as damage to a child’s brain), psychological complications (such as cognitive delays, depression, and anxiety), behavioral consequences (such as increased likelihood of involvement in high-­‐risk behaviors and greater likelihood of juvenile crime and delinquency), and societal consequences (such as increased costs to maintain a robust child welfare system). In short, the victims of child abuse include not only the abused themselves, but society as a whole.

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