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.
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.
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.
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.
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.