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Facts about Child Abuse

  • New Zealand has the fifth worst child abuse record out of 31 OECD Countries.
  • On average one child is killed every 5 weeks.
    • Most of these children are under five and the largest group is less than a year old.1
  • Ninety percent of all child deaths are perpetrated by someone the child knew.
  • Nearly 9,000 children per year are born “at risk” (1 in every 30).

  • For the year 1 July 2014 – 30 June 2015 there were:
    • 150 905  Reports of Concern to Child Youth and Family – these include 83 871 Care and Protection Reports of Concern and 67 034 Police Family Violence Referrals
    • 45 463 Reports of Concern requiring further action by CYF
    • 16 472 substantiated findings of abuse (including emotional, physical, sexual abuse & neglect)
    • 13 833 distinct children with substantiated abuse findings
    • 5026 children currently in the custody of the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development (4163 children living in ‘out of home’ placements)
  • Child Abuse costs NZ around $2 billion each year.2

  • Studies have found abused and neglected children to be at least 25 percent more likely to experience problems such as delinquency, teen pregnancy, low academic achievement, drug use and mental health problems. 3


1.Doolan, M. (2004). Child death by homicide in New Zealand: An examination of incidence and child protection actions. Cantebury University

2.Infometrics. The nature of economic costs from child abuse in NZ. August 2008

3.Kelley, B. T., Thornberry, T. P., & Smith, C. A. (1997). In the wake of childhood maltreatment. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice. Retrieved April 27, 2006, from http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/165257.pdf