How safe are our children? 2013 Analysis of how many children have been abused and neglected

Girl walking on stepping stonesOur report compiles and analyses the most robust and up-to-date child protection data that exists across the four nations in the UK for 2013. It sets out 19 different indicators and each indicator looks at the question of 'how safe are our children?' from a different perspective. A data briefing has also been published outlining the data sources used, those not included and the availability and comparability of data.

Authors: Lisa Harker, Sonja Jütte, Tom Murphy, Holly Bentley, Pam Miller and Kate Fitch
Published: 2013

The report shows that:

  • the child homicide rate is in decline and fewer children are dying as a result of assault or suicide in England, Wales or Scotland but still more than one child a week dies because of maltreatment
  • one in five children today have experienced serious physical abuse, sexual abuse or severe physical or emotional neglect at some point in their lifetime
  • new threats are emerging, particularly with the increasing amount of time children spend in the digital world
  • the public is becoming more vigilant; in the past three years there has been a 40 per cent increase in the number of people coming forward to report concerns about abuse and neglect to the NSPCC
  • children who are referred to social services are more likely to receive an assessment or be subject to some further action compared with five years ago
  • "drift" in decision-making seems to be lessening as shown by a decrease in the proportion of children subject to child protection plans or registers for more than two years
  • more children are coming off child protection plans or registers after shorter periods of time and not being re-registered, suggesting that risk is being reasonably assessed
  • the proportion of looked-after children who have had more than three placements has decreased in England and Wales, suggesting an improvement in placement stability.
Overview 4
Measuring the extent of abuse and neglect in the UK 8
Children at risk of abuse and neglect 62
Glossary 72

Watch our animation for more from our How safe are our children? 2013 report

More reports in the How safe are our children? series

How safe are our children? 2016

Our report compiles and analyses the most robust and up-to-date child protection data that exists across the 4 nations in the UK for 2016.
Read the report

How safe are our children? 2015

Our report compiles and analyses the most robust and up-to-date child protection data that exists across the 4 nations in the UK for 2015.
Find out more

How safe are our children? 2014

Our report compiles and analyses the most robust and up-to-date child protection data that exists across the 4 nations in the UK for 2014.
Find out more

Other research and resources

Child abuse and neglect in the UK today

Research report into children’s experiences of abuse and neglect.
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Costs and consequences of child maltreatment

Overview of recent literature on the prevalence, impact and cost of child abuse and neglect.
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