Iowa child abuse data shows number of reports decreased from previous year

2022 HHS Child Abuse reports
2022 HHS Child Abuse reports(KCRG)
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 4:19 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released data on child abuse reports in 2022 in the hopes of sharing with Iowans how to build better childhoods and prevent child abuse.

Reports show that the organization, “Prevent Child Abuse Iowa” investigated 34,512 reports of child abuse in 2022, a slight decrease from the 35,593 reports investigated in 2021. The number does not include calls that were made to the reporting hotline that were not accepted for an investigation. According to the study, approximately 30% of reports are rejected.

59% of abuse findings involved neglect, followed next by drug-related cases (28%). Physical and sexual abuse make up a small number of cases, however, the CDC estimates that sexual abuse is widely under-reported, with 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys sexually abused before their 18th birthday.

Factors that help protect or buffer children from being abused or neglected include supportive family environments and social networks. Other factors such as parental employment, adequate housing, and access to health care and social services may also serve to protect against child abuse and neglect.

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected:

  • If you believe the child is in imminent danger, CALL 911 immediately.
  • Call the Abuse Hotline at 1-800-362-2178, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please be ready to provide identifying information and the whereabouts of the child. You may remain anonymous unless you are making a report as a mandatory reporter. If you are making report as a mandatory reporter, you must leave your name and contact information.