In Marion County, the population of children totaled 236,434, and the following are some staggering numbers about our children:
- 24% live in poverty
- Teen birth rate is 35.5 (per 1000 females) – the state rate is 22
- 4,023 child neglect cases were substantiated (increase from 1,853 in ’05)
- 604 physical child abuse cases were substantiated (increase from 466 in ’05)
- 620 sexual child abuse cases were substantiated (DECREASE from 818 in ’05)
Every statistic has increased since 2005 except for sexual child abuse. This may have something to say about how awareness about sexual abuse against children has risen GREATLY in the past years. It seems easy to focus on the most extreme case of child abuse, but these other situations harm the child just as much. It may not be seen physically, but in the long-run, into the child’s adult life, these situations hold them back.
“Children who grow up poor are more likely to earn less as adults, complete fewer years of formal education, and face more health issues than children living in higher-income families.” – from the National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices
Raising awareness about all of child abuse, child poverty, and even teen pregnancy can lead to better lives for all of Marion County’s youth. It can lead to better health for the entire community, and it can lead to a better Indianapolis. Organizations that aim at child abuse prevention are HealthNet’s Better Indy Babies (BIBs) and Healthy Families America (HF) Programs, Prevent Child Abuse America, and the Stop Abuse Campaign. Do you have an idea to raise awareness about stopping abuse? Do you have any more helpful resources? Feel free to comment.