New University of East Anglia study on child neglect deaths

A new study led by the University of East Anglia (UEA) has moved closer to quantifying for the first time the number of children killed each year through maltreatment.

Working jointly with colleagues at the University of Warwick, the UEA researchers were asked by the Government to analyse Serious Case Reviews (SCR) from 2009 to 2011. Published today by the Department for Education, their findings show that around 85 children die in England each year as a result of abuse or neglect.

Lead author Dr Marian Brandon, of UEA's centre for research on the child and family, said: 'This report produces a number of new insights alongside the more familiar messages. We now know for the first time that around 85 children die each year as a result of abuse or neglect. Every single death is a shocking and distressing waste of a life, but we have to live with the reality that not all of these deaths can be prevented.'

The total number of violent and maltreatment-related deaths of children under 17 was estimated to be 85 per year – or 0.77 per 100,000 children. Of these, around 50 to 55 were directly caused by violence, abuse or neglect. There were a further 30 to 35 in which maltreatment was considered a contributory factor, though not the primary cause of death - for example accidents, sudden unexpected deaths in infancy, and suicide.

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