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Substantiated child maltreatment victims by county, 2017—2022 in Maine

Substantiated child maltreatment victims by county, 2017—2022

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Why This Indicator Matters

All children deserve to grow up in homes that are safe and emotionally nurturing. Children who experience adverse childhood experiences such as physical and emotional abuse have difficulty in school and have more issues in mental health and physical health both as children and as adults. Studies have shown that government investment in keeping families financially afloat -- such as expanding the child tax credit and increasing amounts of SNAP and offering free school meals--brings a significant reduction in cases of both child neglect and physical abuse. Child Abuse Rates Fell in 2020-Journal of American Medicine 

What the data shows
Overall, the number of children with substantiated child maltreatment decreased from 4,263 children to 3,907 in calendar year 2022, the third year in a row that the number decreased.  The year 2019 was the highest year since 2003, with 4,547 children experiencing child maltreatment. The state rate for 2022 is 15.8 per 1,000 children, or 1.6%. The national rate of experiencing child abuse most recent year is federal fiscal year 2021 when the rate was 8.1, compared to Maine's rate for that time period of 16.8, so Maine's rate of child maltreatment remains more than double the national rate. Child Maltreatment by state FFY 20, from Child Trends

At the county level, in 2022, the rural counties of Somerset and Aroostook Counties had the highest rates at 31.7 and 26.3 per 1,000 children respectively. By contrast, Sagadahoc County had the lowest rate of child abuse at 7.4 per 1,000 children while Cumberland County had the second lowest rate at, at 7.9 per 1,000 children. Thus, the children in the most rural counties of Somerset and Aroostook had rates more than three times higher than the urban counties of Sagadahoc and Cumberland counties.
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Definition and Source



The number and rate of individual victims of child abuse and neglect birth to age 17 for whom assessment led to a finding of a threat to a child’s health or welfare by physical, mental or emotional injury or impairment, sexual abuse or exploitation, deprivation of essential needs or lack of protection from these by a person responsible for the child (22 MRSA §4002). The numerator is the unique number of children in a calendar year who are victims of child maltreatment as defined above and the denominator is the number of children in the state birth to age 17. The rate is per 1,000 children birth to age 17. 


County refers to where the child abuse occurred, not to the county where the child abuse victim may have been subsequently placed. In cases where the county is reported to be unknown, the number is included in the state total.

Last Updated

June 2023