how did it get overlooked?
History has shown that when issues are seen only as social and or legal problems, they are viewed as unfixable. And yet, when a cultural shift occurs and people see that the issue is not JUST a social and legal problem, but also a health, mental and or public health problem, it can be addressed, supported, improved, and even seen in a different ~more positive~ light. Suicide, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, AIDs, and so on, have all evolved in this way. And now there are National Foundations raising money to support research, treatment, prevention and advocacy for these and nearly all major health issues including, pediatric cancer, heart and lung disease, diabetes, epilepsy, prematurity and more than one hundred other diseases and genetic disorders.
In 1968, 98% of children who were diagnosed with leukemia died. Today, 98% of them live thanks to 50 years of NIH and private foundation support for research, training, treatment, prevention and advocacy. There were 1500 deaths a year from Polio in the US in 1953; there have been none since 1970. In contrast there have been more than 1500 deaths from child abuse and neglect every year since the 1970’s.
Child abuse and neglect has been seen as a social and legal issue; dealt with primarily after the occurrence, often in a punitive fashion. Fifty years after the United States started its child protection system, there is no evidence that the billions of dollars of services that were provided actually helped children and families. The Child Protection System does not monitor the outcomes for children and families of their interventions.
The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study(ACES) has shown that four or more ACES are associated with lifelong effects on the physical health, mental health and lifespan of adults. Half of the 10 ACES are included in child abuse and neglect.
An Under-Addressed Public Health Crisis
Deaths from physical, sexual, and psychological abuse and neglect in 2016
Total lifetime estimated costs associated with one year of confirmed cases of abuse/neglect
Substantiated cases of abuse and neglect in 2016