The U.S. appears to be trending towards being a safer place for children, with researcher reporting a striking 26 percent decrease in the incidence of child abuse and neglect between 1993 and 2006.
The information comes from the fourth in a series of congressionally mandated, mammoth studies done by the federal government and called the National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect.
Researchers said the number of children considered abused under the study's definition fell to 553,300 in the 2005-2006 time frame compared with 743,200 in 1993.
Experts on child abuse were greatly encouraged by the findings.
An excerpt from an Associated Press story:
"It's the first time since we started collecting data about these things that we've seen substantial declines over a long period, and that's tremendously encouraging," said professor David Finkelhor of the University of New Hampshire, a leading researcher in the field of child abuse.
"It does suggest that the mobilization around this issue is helping and it's a problem that is amenable to solutions," he said.