Alabama Family Rights Association

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  The Risks To Which Our Courts Expose Our Children
Child Abuse and Death

The Heritage Foundation report, "The Child Abuse Crisis: The Disintegration of Marriage, Family, and the American Community," May 15, 1997 notes that: "[due to] ... the disintegration of family and community ... America's infants and young chilren, about 2,000 of whom -- 6 per day -- die each year," and provides the following estimate:

Total Children Killed Per Year: 2,000

Killed by Mothers 1,100 (55.0%)

Killed by live-in boyfriends 0513 ( 25.7%)

Killed by Stepfathers 0250 (12.5%)

Killed by Biological Fathers 0137 (6.9%)

This study demonstrates that the least dangerous place for a child after divorce is with the father by a margin of over 14 to 1 ( 2000 / 137 = 14.5985 ).

Stepfathers and live-in boyfriends are associated with the mother's household and therefore a child is 14 times more likely to be killed in the mother's care.

Excluding Stepfathers and Live-in boyfriends, mothers are 8 times as likely to kill a child than the biological father.


Almost 1 million children were the victims of substantiated or indicated child abuse and neglect in 1996, an approximate 18 percent increase since 1990. Each year over 18,000 children are permanently disabled by abusers. For comparison, the number of adults disabled by spouse abuse is less than one dozen. Child Maltreatment 1996: Reports from the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System , U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1998). Seventy-seven percent of perpetrators of child maltreatment were parents, an additional 11 percent were other relatives. Over 80 percent of all perpetrators were under age 40. Over two-thirds were mothers. Three-quarters of neglect and medical neglect cases were associated with mother perpetrators as were almost three-quarters of sexual abuse.

Single Mother Households (SMH) - the most dangerous living arrangement

In Single Mother Households, 422 children are fatally abused each year.
In Single Father Households, 25 children are fatally abused each year.
In Dual Parent Families, 16 children are fatally abused each year.
430 children are killed by firearm accidents each year
322 are killed in Single Mother Households (SMH).
Single Mother Households account for over 70% of fatal child abuse and accidental firearm deaths.

Source: Donna Shalala, "National Child Abuse Prevention Month" and "Child Maltreatment 1994: Reports to the National Center on Child Abuse".

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