child abuse

SPOKANE, Wash. - According to a recent report by the Women Helping Women Fund, child abuse and neglect in Spokane County is nearly double the average of Washington State.

According to the report, Changing Our Forecast: State of Women and Children in Spokane County, there were 6,564 accepted referrals for child abuse and neglect for children 0-17 in Spokane County. 

This was a rate of 57.8 per 1,000 children. The state average is 37.8 per 1,000 children.

"We know that for certain groups, opportunities aren't equal," said Kim Papich, a spokesperson with the Spokane County Regional Health District. "So when we don't have stable, stress-free households the potential for neglect and abuse skyrockets."

Unfortunately, these numbers may be an underestimate because an accepted referral may have more than one victim. An accepted referral isn't just somebody calling in and reporting child abuse to Child Protective Services, it's a case that's been investigated, documented and proven that child abuse or neglect is taking place. 

Things are getting worse. Since 2006, child abuse and neglect has increased 32 percent in Spokane County.

Papich says there are many factors for the rise, including poverty and less opportunities for certain classes of people. 

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