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New federal data show drop in child abuse rates

NEW YORK — A new federal report shows the rate of child abuse in the U.S. dipped in 2008 to its lowest level since 1990.

The annual report from the Department of Health and Human Services was issued Thursday. It says the estimated number of victimized children had dropped sharply, from 903,000 in 2006 to 772,000 in 2008.

Carmen Nazario works as an assistant secretary for children and families at the Department of Health and Human Services. She says she was encouraged by the decrease, but sounded a note of caution.

She says, “The results show too many children still suffer from abuse and neglect, and we have not yet experienced the full impact from the economic situation.”

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