Child Abuse

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglass

Why care?

Few issues are as consequential and widely impactful as child abuse.

Child victims of abuse face a multitude of long-term challenges, which often last a lifetime. Research strongly supports the association between child abuse and many core domains of life, including physical health, behavior, psychology, and socioeconomic outcomes. Among many other things, child victims of abuse are at significantly higher risk for developing PTSD, depression, chronic pain syndromes, lung problems, heart disease, impaired cognitive skills, engagement in high-risk behaviors, and difficulties with attachment and social relationships.

Child abuse also poses a heavy burden on society through increased expenditures on health care, child welfare, criminal justice, education, and lost workforce productivity. An Alaskan 2019 study estimated the total cost of child abuse and neglect to be $710 million (Human Capital) or $2.3 billion (VSL/QALY) (Klouda, 2020).

Did You Know?

  • Alaska consistently struggles with some of the highest rates of child abuse and neglect in the nation.
  • 1 in 3 births in our state will experience an Office of Children’s Services report before the age of 7.
  • 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
  • Contrary to what we may have been taught, most offenders are NOT strangers. In the vast majority of cases, children are abused by someone they already know and trust- like a family member or friend.
  • Most victims delay or never disclose child sexual abuse.

 

Report Child Abuse

We each have a role to play in standing up for the children in our communities.

Learn more about potential indicators of child abuse. Trust your instincts. Suspected abuse is enough of a reason to speak up.

Learn to recognize the sign and symptoms of abuse (PDF)

Call 1-800-478-4444
ReportChildAbuse@alaska.gov
or Fax: 907-269-3939