Child abuse/maltreatment is defined by any abuse committed by an adult towards a child. This abuse may be emotional, physical, sexual, or neglectful in nature, and may be committed by a parent, guardian or other relative, a coach, a clergy member, or other adult. According to Rhode Island Kids Count data from 2009, approximately 2,962 children in the state were found to be victims of child maltreatment. Ninety-three percent of this abuse was committed by a parent, and approximately 47% of these children were under the age of 6. Approximately 78% of reported cases involved neglect, while 13% involved physical abuse, 4% sexual abuse, and 6% involved other types of abuse.
What you should do
If you are an adult and you know that a child is being neglected or abused, you are, by law, required to report it. See Rhode Island’s Mandated Reporting Laws for more information.