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That No Harm May Come to Them: Nonprofits Dedicated to Fighting Child Abuse


In honor of National Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month, April 2001, GuideStar salutes nonprofits engaged in the fight against child abuse

Number of child abuse victims, 1992-1999There is good news and bad news to report in the fight against child abuse. The good news is that the incidence of child abuse reached an 11-year low in 1999 (the last year for which national statistics are available), and that 1999 was the sixth year in a row in which the total number of child abuse cases declined. (For the specific figures, see the table below.)

The bad news is that approximately 826,000 children suffered from neglect or other maltreatment in 1999. More than 1,000 of them died.

As Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson observed, "We are encouraged by the continuing decline in the number of children who are maltreated, but it is nevertheless unacceptable that so many children are suffering. We will continue to encourage states to do everything they can to prevent child abuse and neglect. We must remain committed to ensuring that all children live in safe, permanent and loving homes."

Thousands of nonprofit organizations agree. More than 1,800 organizations throughout the nation are working to prevent child abuse, help children and their families cope with the effects of maltreatment, and ensure that local, state, and federal goverments create programs and legislation addressing child abuse.

Although their methods vary, the organizations are all striving toward the same goal: to free more families from the cycle of abuse so that an ever-increasing number of children can grow up in safety and security.

Number of Child Abuse Victims 1992-1999

1992 992,617 1996 969,018
1993 1,018,692 1997 963,870
1994 1,011,628 1998 903,000
1995 1,000,402 1999 826,000


  • Philanthropic Research, Inc. GuideStar database.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "HHS Report Shows Continued Record High Child Abuse and Neglect Levels." Press Release, April 17, 1998.
  • "HHS Reports New Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics." Press Release, April 1, 1999.
  • "HHS Reports New Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics." Press Release, April 10, 2000.
  • "HHS Reports New Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics." Press Release, April 2, 2001.


suzanne-coffman-150x150.jpgThe preceding post is by Suzanne Coffman, GuideStar’s editorial director. See more of Suzanne’s sector findings and musings on philanthropy here on our blog. 
Topics: National Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month