About 1 in 16 children are noted to suffer from sexual abuse and nearly 1 in 10 children are witness to incidences of family violence. A report by the US DOH, points out that the youngest children are found to be most vulnerable to abuse. The report showed that in the period ranging from 2009-2011, children between the ages of 0-5 years experienced the highest rates of maltreatment (DoH, 2013). These findings are supported by those presented by the children’s rights organization Safe Horizon that showed that over 25% of the total number of abused children was essentially under the age of three while an astounding 45% of abused children were under the age of 5 years (Safehorizon, 2014).
In 2012, the total number of children who died due to child abuse was recorded at 1,563. Of this number, 70.3% were found to be younger than 3 years and 44% were reported to be younger than one year of age. The report on the 2012 data also showed that children of both genders were similarly likely to be victims of child abuse as indicated by the fact that in 2012, 48.5% of the total number of abused children were boys while 51.2% of the abused children. However at 57.6%, the rate of child fatality was recorded to be much higher for boys. Babies in this age demographic were reported as often being the victims of shaken baby syndrome that causes them to suffer from different forms of trauma such as bone and rib fractures, various degrees of damages to their neck and spinal cord as well as bleeding from the brain or eyes. 1 in 4 shaken baby syndrome victims eventually dies and nearly all victims tend to eventually experience serious health consequences (Safehorizon, 2014).