child neglect

A new report says the number of Indiana children who died because of abuse or neglect went up, year-over-year.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Indiana ranks second in the nation for the rate of child abuse victims, according to an annual report from the US Department of Health & Human Services.

The report says 18.6 in every 1,000 Hoosier children were victims of abuse in fiscal year 2017.

That’s more than double the national average. And it’s second only to neighboring Kentucky, where 22.2 in 1,000 children were abused that year.

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Children are reaching out to text-based crisis communication hotlines to seek help for mental illness. But a Purdue University study finds they’re also using them as a method to report abuse.

 

Child neglect is defined as a type of abuse where people can lose custody of their children because they can’t provide the necessary care. Zoey Meisberger’s parents couldn’t care for her because of their addiction.

In 2015, there were 17,491 Children In Need of Services, or CHINS, cases filed in Indiana. This is a nearly 23 percent increase over the previous year and a 97 percent increase over the past 10 years.

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According to a recent report released by the Indiana Department of Child Services, the majority of fatalities due to child abuse or neglect occur in babies and toddlers.

Of the 66 fatalities that occurred in 2014—the most recent year in which data is available—60 percent occurred in children three years old or younger.

DCS spokesman James Wide says the youngest children are the most vulnerable.

“If we’re not actively supervising these children then they will get into things that will hurt them,” he says.

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The Indiana Court of Appeals heard arguments from Purvi Patel Monday. Patel’s case gained national attention in March of 2015 when she was convicted of child neglect and feticide after she delivered an extremely preterm fetus alone in her northern Indiana home.

Patel is the first woman in the country convicted of feticide for ending her own pregnancy after taking abortion drugs she bought online.