Child Abuse in WI

It is difficult to determine exactly how many children are abused and neglected each year. Several state and national studies have been conducted, but because of the way the data was collected the results can be misleading and may not present an entirely accurate picture. For instance, we know that most research is based on cases of child abuse and neglect that have been substantiated by child protective services agencies, agencies which, due to their limited resources, are usually only able intervene in cases deemed to be of serious concern. We also know that many cases of abuse and neglect are never even reported. However, the most current data report that:

In 2012, in Wisconsin, there were:

  • 39,460 reports of child abuse
  • 975 substantiated cases of physical abuse
  • 1,256 substantiated cases of sexual abuse
  • 56 substantiated cases of emotional abuse
  • 2,773 substantiated cases of child neglect
  • 23 substantiated cases of a child having died because of child abuse or neglect
  • 61% of children who died were under the age of three
  • 35% of children who died were under age one

Regardless of what the data says, we believe that one case of child abuse is one case too many.


To download the 2012 Annual Report to the Governor and Legislature on Child Abuse and Neglect, click HERE