BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — One in seven children have experienced child abuse and neglect in the last year, according to the CDC. The federal agency believes that number is an underestimate.
This statistic came to light this week in Brookings, South Dakota, where a 3-year-old girl was found dead. Authorities believe the child had been confined to a small area of the home where human and animal feces could be found.
Based on the investigation, authorities believed the girl was deprived of food and human contact. The cause of death was determined to be malnourishment and dehydration.
Two people have been charged with second-degree murder and child abuse.
The following information is direct from the CDC.
- Children younger than 4 years of age
- Special needs that may increase caregiver burden (e.g., disabilities, mental health issues, and chronic physical illnesses)
- Parents’ lack of understanding of children’s needs, child development and parenting skills
- Parental history of child abuse and or neglect
- Substance abuse and/or mental health issues including depression in the family
- Parental characteristics such as young age, low education, single parenthood, large number of dependent children, and low income
- Nonbiological, transient caregivers in the home (e.g., mother’s male partner)
- Parental thoughts and emotions that tend to support or justify maltreatment behaviors
What can happen?
We saw the worst of what can happen in Brookings this week. However, the CDC has developed a pyramid of different things that can happen to children who are abused or neglected.
Preventing child abuse and neglect
The CDC issued a report with five ways for communities to take action.
Read the full report:
How to report child abuse and neglect in South Dakota
According to SD DSS:
To report child abuse or neglect, please call 1.877.244.0864. Intake Specialists will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If reporting an emergency situation before 8 a.m., after 5 p.m., on the weekends, or during a holiday, please contact your local law enforcement.