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Child Abuse & Neglect

Prevention Strategies

Prevention Resources

Overview:

Child maltreatment is any act or series of acts of commission or omission commited by a parent or other caregiver (e.g., clergy, coach, or teacher) that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child.

Acts of Commission, referred to as child abuse, are words or overt actions that cause harm, potential harm, or threat of harm that are deliberate and intentional; however, harm to a child might not be the intended consequence of a caregivers actions. Intention only applies to caregiver acts—not the consequences of those acts. For example, the caregiver intended to punish the child, (i.e., hitting the child is not accidental or unintentional), but not give the child a concussion.

Acts of Omission, referred to as child neglect, are failures to provide needs or to protect from harm or potential harm or to provide for a child's basic physical, emotional, or educational needs, or to protect a child from harm or potential harm. Like acts of commission, harm to a child might not be the intended consequence.

Impact on West Virginia:

  • 5 West Virginia children between the ages 0 and 5 died due to child abuse or neglect in 2015 representing 26% of all injury related deaths for children of that age group.1
  • 19 West Virginia children between the ages of 0 and 5 were hospitalized due to child abuse and neglect in 2013 representing 10% of all injury related hospitalizations for children of that age group.2

 

 

1 Data Source: West Virginia Health Statistics Center, Vital Statistics System.
2 Data Source: West Virginia Health Care Authority, Hospital Inpatient Billing Data.
West Virginia Violence and Injury Prevention Program (WVVIPP) Room 427 350 Capitol Street Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: 1-800-642-9704