Shining Light on Child Abuse Prevention

One of our core values is approaching family law cases and representation from a "child first" perspective.  Our "Child Abuse Prevention" campaign was a time during the month of April to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect. 

Children are suffering across the country from abuse and neglect, this widespread problem demands our attention and the first step is understanding the issue. Child abuse can be prevented by building communities that are committed to families and supporting the services that help raise healthy and successful children.  We have to pay attention to the efforts that will prevent it from happening in the first place-access to health care, affordable housing, substance abuse awareness programs, and more.

National Child Abuse Statistics:

  • Nearly 700,000 children are abused in the U.S annually.
  • In 2015, an estimated 1,670 children died from abuse and neglect in the United States.
  • About four out of five abusers are the victims’ parents. A parent of the child victim was the perpetrator in 78.1% of substantiated cases of child maltreatment. 
  • The United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations – losing on average almost five (5) children every day to child abuse and neglect.

Colorado Child Abuse Statistics:

  • In 2013, Colorado had 79,703 total referrals for child abuse and neglect. 
  •  Colorado responds to lower risk, higher safety reports through alternative response services to address family issues.
  • In 2013, 21 children in Colorado died as a result of abuse or neglect.
  • In 2013, 5,851 children in Colorado lived apart from their families in out-of-home care, compared with 7,392 children in 2009. 

How does the state of Colorado define Abuse and Neglect?

Physical abuse is defined in CRS 19-1-103 (1)(a)(I) as,"Any case in which a child exhibits evidence of skin bruising, bleeding, malnutrition, failure to thrive, burns, fracture of any bone, subdural hematoma, soft tissue swelling, or death." Basically, physical abuse is defined as any case in which a child has an identifiable or observable injury that is not the result of an accidental occurrence.
Colorado also defines sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, deprivation of necessities, environmental injurious, educational neglect, medical neglect, failure to protect, and lack of supervision all as types of abuse within the state law.

What are the warning signs of Child Abuse and Neglect? 

The Child Welfare Information Gateway has created an amazing resource of the warning signs of Child Abuse and Neglect, click here to see the full list, but here are some of the top warning signs: 

The Child:

• Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance

• Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents’ attention

• Has learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes

• Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen

• Lacks adult supervision


The Parent:

• Denies the existence of—or blames the child for—the child’s problems in school or at home

• Asks teachers or other caregivers to use harsh physical discipline if the child misbehaves

• Sees the child as entirely bad, worthless, or burdensome

• Demands a level of physical or academic performance the child cannot achieve


Who do I call in Colorado if I suspect abuse? 

You can use this link to learn more or call: 1-844-CO-4-Kids or 1-844-264-5437