January 1, 1997
U.S. Child Abuse Rates Rise Sharply - DHHS Study
Between 1986 and 1993, the number of abused and neglected children in the United States doubled, increasing from 1.4 million to 2.8 million, according to the National Incident Study of Child Abuse and Neglect. The number of children seriously injured by abuse rose from 143,000 to 570,000 over the same period, a fourfold increase. The study, which was commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services, identifies poverty as a major risk factor, along with being in a single-parent family. Children in families with annual incomes of less than $15,000 were 22 times more likely to be maltreated than those from families with incomes of about $30,000. Their risk of sexual abuse and serious injury was also much higher. Despite the increase in abuse and neglect, the number of cases investigated by state agencies did not keep pace. The portion of cases investigated by state agencies fell from 44 to 28 percent.
Study Finds Vets Constitute A Third of Homeless
One in three homeless men at shelters across the country are veterans, according to a survey of 10,400 men at 133 shelters, conducted by the International Union of Gospel Missions. The number is up from 29 percent in the years 199193. Veterans Affairs estimates that male veterans represent 19 percent of the general male population.
VA Increases Outreach on Sexual Trauma
The Department of Veterans Affairs' toll-free number for sexual trauma victims (800/827-1000) expanded its operation to nonbusiness hours in November. The expansion was in conjunction with the ABC 20/20 television show's airing of two segments on rape in the military. More than 2,000 calls were received, and many women were referred to counseling resources.
CDC Study Offers Evidence of Increased Illness in Gulf War Vets
Air Force veterans of the 1991 Gulf War are three times more likely to suffer memory loss, joint and muscle pain, and other ills, compared to people who served elsewhere during the same period, according preliminary results of a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers interviewed 4,000 Air Force personnel for the study, which will be published later this year.