Study finds spike in Pennsylvania child abuse-related deaths


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos





A state study released Feb. 21 found the number of Pennsylvania children killed or nearly killed after abuse had occurred spiked recently, increases likely driven by a new definition of abuse and an uptick in its reporting in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky and Roman Catholic clergy child sexual abuse scandals.

The state Human Services Department report into fatalities and near fatalities during 2015 and 2016 showed both types of reports were up sharply after being fairly level for the preceding six years.

The number of substantiated fatalities and near fatalities ranged between 80 and 92 from 2009 through 2014. In 2016, that number was 127.

The study attributes the rise in part to revisions to the state Child Protective Service Law that took effect at the end of 2014 because the state expanded the definition of abuse, who can be considered a perpetrator, and who must report suspected abuse. Those legislative changes were adopted in response to the Sandusky and clerical abuse scandals.

During the 2014-16 period, the number of calls to the ChildLine system for reporting suspected abuse in Pennsylvania increased by about 50 percent, from nearly 30,000 to more than 44,000.

Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Penn State, was convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of child sexual abuse. He is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence, but recently won an appeals court decision giving him a new sentencing hearing.

A team that analyzed the data for the state recommended Pennsylvania provide more support for county-level death review teams and expand education about child abuse deaths for schools, police and those who provide behavioral health and substance abuse disorder treatment.

About 70 percent of the 36 substantiated child abuse-related fatalities in Pennsylvania during 2015 were blamed on the victim's mother, father or both, about the same rate as nationally.



Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments

Pool Rules



MUST READ NEWS

Police seek information on man who exposed himself in Milford candy shop
Milford. State Troopers responded to the Milford Candy and Gift Cottage at 4:43 p.m. on May 22 for a report of a male who had exposed his genitals as he was walking in the...
Read more »
Image

Tick-borne diseases take many forms
By Robert-A. Ollar, Ph.D
Tick-borne diseases are associated with multiple infectious agents. A tick can acquire more than a dozen different pathogens from host animals before...

Read more »
Image

From Small Orchard to Winery & Distillery
Owned by Joseph Grizzanti, his son Jason Grizzanti, and family-friend Jeremy Kidde, Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery is truly an oasis. Not just because it serves local...
Read more »
Image

Delaware Valley Choral Society presents area premiere of Karl Jenkins' The Peacemakers
Milford. The Delaware Valley Choral Society presents the area premiere of Karl Jenkins' The Peacemakers at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 2, at the Delaware Valley High School auditorium,...
Read more »
Image

VIDEOS



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Community Newspapers



MOST READ

Local News
Park prepares for summer visitors
  • May 23, 2019
Where in clues
Pike's Peek
  • May 23, 2019
Where in answers
Pike's Peek
  • May 23, 2019

MOST COMMENTED



Weather in Milford, PA