According to the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse (NCPCA), 2.9 million children were reported to child protective services agencies as alleged victims of abuse or neglect in 1992 (NCPCA, 1993), almost twice the American Humane Association’s estimate of 1.5 million in 1983 (Russell & Trainor, 1984). Although staggering, these figures may underestimate the true incidence of abuse. Both medical and mental health practitioners have been found to comply inconsistently with abuse reporting laws (Kalichman, 1993). Abuse of very young children may be especially underreported because of their limited verbal ability and social isolation.
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