Children And Youth
Child Abuse and Neglect

Child Abuse and Neglect

What does this measure?

The number of indicated child abuse or neglect reports, expressed as a rate per 1,000 children under age 18. Indicated reports are those in which there is credible evidence that a child has experienced abuse, neglect or maltreatment from a parent or legal guardian. This includes sexual abuse committed or allowed by a parent or guardian.

Why is this important?

Children who have been abused or neglected may experience long-term psychological and emotional/behavioral consequences. Victims of abuse are also at higher risk of abusing their own children when they become parents.

How is our county doing?

For every 1,000 children in Essex County, there were just under 15 indicated cases of child abuse and neglect in 2014. This is lower than the state rate of 21 in 2014 and the highest rate Essex County has had since 2010. In 2015, there were nearly 2,500 substantiated reports of abuse or neglect in Essex County, up 19% from 2010.

How do we compare to other counties?

Essex County had a very similar rate to Middlesex, MA, whose rate was just over 15 per 1,000 children in 2014. Until 2015, Essex County has been consistently lower than Middlesex since 2010.

Notes on the data

Reports of abuse or neglect may be influenced by many factors such as outreach, education, and media publicity. Additionally, it is unknown how many cases of abuse or neglect are never reported to authorities. Comparable data for Westchester, NY and Lake, IL was not available.

Child Abuse and Neglect
Essex County, MA12.
Middlesex County, MA12.712.512.611.515.1

Source: Massachusetts Department of Children and Families

Number of Indicated Reports
Essex County, MA2,0711,7761,5861,5262,465
Middlesex County, MA4,0894,0164,0643,7014,881

Source: Massachusetts Department of Children and Families