Verbal Abuse and Neglect More Common than Physical Abuse

This article courtesy of the Post-Bulletin.


Dodge County statistics on child abuse are a good indicator of what kinds of abuse are most prevalent. Mainly, it’s neglect and verbal abuse. Physical and sexual abuse, which get much of the media attention, are relatively rare.

The county gets about 300 reports of abuse annually, about half of which are found credible, said Nancy Reuvers, child family service supervisor.

Of 88 assessments, which don’t require court action, 68 were for neglect, such as not enough food, no supervision, educational neglect, exposing children to drug use, or parents spending money on drugs instead of food, she said.

Fourteen were for physical abuse; four were for mental or emotional injuries; one, for medical neglect; and one, for sexual abuse.

The hardest to prove is mental or emotional abuse. The only way to know that abuse is there is if the child suffers psychological problems from being belittled, sworn at or constantly being called names. The effect is cumulative over months and years, she said.

Of the 23 investigations, which often require court action, five were for neglect; nine, for physical abuse where there were marks; and nine, for sexual abuse, which could be peeping to invade privacy or showing children porn.

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