The article I read about it was full of people talking about how neat this is and why it happened. When I started to write this post, I looked for the study online and accidentally saw the 1996 study based on 1993 data. It said in the previous 10 years, different types of child abuse went up 80 or 100%.
So child abuse went up 80 or 100% over one ten-year period and then back down 15 to 38% in the next, and this is supposed to be wonderful. Your cancer is in partial remission, Mrs. Jones. Congratulations.
The people the AP quoted found a number of reasons child abuse might be going down:
- "more public awareness and public intolerance around child abuse"
- "the proliferation of programs designed to help abusers and potential abusers overcome their problems"
- "several coinciding trends, including a "troop surge" in the 1990s when more people were deployed in child protection services and the criminal justice system intensified its anti-abuse efforts with more arrests and prison sentences."
- "greatly expanded use of medications may have enabled many potential child abusers to treat the conditions that otherwise might have led them to molest or mistreat a child"
- "a general change in perceptions and norms about what one can get away with, so much more publicity about these things"
- In my local paper, the mayor said it was due to law enforcement getting tough on child molestors.