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Child abuse least frequent in intact families, study shows

August 26, 2016

A new study by the federal government has found that children are safest from abuse when they are living with their married parents.

The Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect revealed, in sharp contrast, that the highest rates of child abuse occurred in households where a single parent was living with a partner who was not the child's parent. Children living in such households were ten times as likely to experience abuse, and eight times as likely to be neglected, as children living with both parents. 

The findings counter the assertion-- commonplace but inaccurate-- that most child abuse occurs within families. 

 
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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Aug. 26, 2016 5:24 PM ET USA

    This study will take more than a few minutes to read--455 pages. "The highest rates of child abuse occurred in households where a single parent was living with a partner who was not the child's parent." Heterologous insemination notwithstanding, the study does not offer hope that the new federal definition of "marriage" will produce households where abuse and neglect will be minimized. Safe-environment training alert: "most child abuse occurs within families." We will have to change that claim.