Child abuse problem grows in Alaska

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Dr. Kathy Baldwin-Johnson of Alaska Cares gave a report to the legislature.

    Dr. Baldwin-Johnson said a study found 37 percent of children in Alaska are reported as a victim of abuse by the time they are nine years old.

    About 10 percent of Alaskan children are reported to the Office of Children Services for possible abuse each year

    Neglect is the biggest cause of death among Alaska children.

    Dr. Johnson said a lot of these adverse childhood experiences impact Alaskans when they become adults, "If an Alaskan had a history of being physically abused as a child there was an almost 36 percent chance that they were sexually abused, over 78 percent chance they had been verbally or emotionally abused, over 60 percent chance one of their caregivers was engaging in substance abuse and over a 50 percent chance that they had witnessed their mom being beaten up."

    Dr. Johnson said she was surprised by a lot of the results of the study.

    When it comes to child neglect, a large percentage of the parents involved, have some kind of drug addiction

    Sexual abuse and child abuse reports hit an all-time high in Alaska in 2018.

    Generational and historical trauma, isolated families, and a lack of services also play a role in these high rates.

    She said childhood trauma often leads to physical and emotional problems for adults

     

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