Recent revelations by Sen. Scott Brown, R-MA, that he was abused as a child are further evidence of the importance of child abuse and neglect reporting. Sen. Brown has revealed that he was sexually abused multiple times at the age of 10. Brown said in an interview for “60 Minutes” that the abuse came at the hands of a camp counselor.
Brown’s acknowledgment that he was abused as a child comes at a time when statistical information just released indicates that the number of children abused or neglected in Colorado is on the rise.
In 2009, 641 more children were maltreated in Colorado than the year before; 11,339 in 2009 compared to 10,698 in 2008 according to a 2009 report from the State of Colorado Division of Child Welfare, Colorado Department of Human Services. Additionally, the rates increased even more dramatically in Colorado over the past two years, with 1,236 additional children abused and neglected as compared to 2007.
Colorado’s child abuse rates go against the national trend, which currently shows decreases in the number of maltreated children.
The state’s child fatality rate attributed to child abuse and neglect has also increased for the past several years, with 36 deaths last year, up from 32 the prior year, 27 the year before and 24 the year before that according to the same 2009 DHS report.
“The suffering and death of so many children is a tragedy for our community,” said Dr. Andrew Sirotnak, Interim Director of The Kempe Center, Director of Kempe’s Child Protection Team and Professor of Pediatrics in the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “Our increased attention to the problem of child maltreatment and for its prevention is reaching a crisis point again in our state. We must work together to protect the most vulnerable in our state.”
The majority of The Kempe Center direct service programs increased the number of children served last year as well. For example, the Child Protection Team treated 494 children; a more than a 22 percent increase from the previous year. Overall, the Center saw a 13.5 percent increase in services provided when compared to the prior year.
Headquartered in Colorado, The Kempe Center is recognized as a world leader in child abuse treatment programs and for over forty years has been at the forefront in the fight against child abuse. For more information, visit www.kempe.org.