ABUSE DOWN: Cases Of Reported Child Abuse Down

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Reported child abuse is down across Iowa by seven percent, however, experts arn't sure exactly why.

There is no one change that the Department of Human Services or other agencies have made in the past year that could account for the drop.  Statistics show over the past ten years, there really isn't a pattern of abuse declining.

"Why we have essentially a 14-percent increase from 2008 to 2010 and now we're down seven percent, there's no easy answer." says Prevent Child Abuse Iowa Director Stephen Scott,  "There is a lot of bouncing around that we don't have any answer for."

"I happen to think that an awful lot of child abuse issues directly relate to the economy." says DHS Director Chuck Palmer, "When you don't have adequate jobs and you don't have adequate income you have families under stress.  Families under stress do a lot of different things sometimes, including making bad choices."

Child neglect continues to be the leading type of abuse. It accounts for about 79% of all child abuse cases DHS handles.  Physical abuse is up about 1% and sexual abuse remains similar to previous years.