Nearly 30,000 reports of child abuse and neglect were made to the state’s Child Abuse Hotline in 2015, detailing more than 72,000 individual allegations, according to a federally mandated report by the Department of Children and Families.
Some 15 percent of the reports and 17 percent of the allegations were substantiated by the agency, meaning “the investigation resulted in a finding of reasonable cause to believe that neglect and/or abuse has occurred.”
There are eight categories of abuse and neglect in the report: Physical abuse (7,688 allegations statewide); educational neglect (2,610 allegations); emotional neglect (12,183); medical neglect (1,447); physical neglect (44,613); sexual abuse (1,810). There were two categories with zero allegations in the report: At risk; and high risk newborn.
Physical neglect allegations were the most numerous, occurring at a rate of about 12 per 1,000 residents across the state, but in six communities, allegations of physical neglect occurred at more than double the statewide rate: Hartford (29 per 1,000 residents), Waterbury (27), New London (27), New Haven (25), Putnam(25) and Norwich (25). (Putnam has a small population, of 9,515, which weights each allegation more per capita.)
Though Hartford had the highest rate of allegations, it had the lowest rate of substantiated allegations among those six cities: 4.2 per 1,000 residents.
Emotional neglect, with 12,183 allegations, was the second-most numerous category of allegation. That’s a statewide rate of 3.3 per 1,000 residents. Putnam had 89 allegations, a rate of 9.4 per 1,000 residents. Five other towns had rates of allegations more than double the statewide rate: Willimantic (7.5); Meriden (7.2); Lisbon (7.1); Winsted (6.9); and Hartford (6.7)
The chart at the top of this story shows the rates of various allegations in certain towns compared with the statewide rate. About 17 percent of the allegations are substantiated according to the DCF data. Not every town is reflected in the report.