Every Day in Massachusetts...

Every day in Massachusetts

· 2,200 children are homeless

· 67 children are abused and neglected

· 118 children witness domestic violence

· 25 teenagers get syphilis, gonorrhea or chlamydia

· 22 teenagers drop out of school

· 66 teenagers attempt suicide

· 223 babies are born

·16 teenagers give birth

· 34 babies are born to women who didn't receive adequate prenatal care

· 6 pregnant teenagers don't receive adequate prenatal care

· 14 babies are born at low birthweights, less than 5 pounds 5 ounces

· 3 babies are born at very low birthweights, less than 3 pounds 3 ounces

· 1 babies dies before one month of life

· 2 babies die before their first birthday

More kids were adopted here this year than ever before, with 1,191 adoptions finalized as of this August. Another 4,251 are awaiting adoption. Some 80 percent are white, almost 9 percent are Hispanic, just over 7 percent are Black.

This year, 43,000 children in Massachusetts will be exposed to domestic violence. Witnessing domestic violence, by the way, is the single best predictor of juvenile delinquency and adult criminality for males.

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in this country. Between 30 and 50 percent of children are also abused by their mother's batterer.

The last year anyone checked, 1992, 29 of the 67 child fatalities in the Commonwealth were in families where the mother was identified as a victim of domestic violence.

Project Bread reports that 62,000 children under 12 in Massachusetts are hungry. Another 151,000 are at risk of being hungry. That's one in five.

To date, 413 children under 13 have been diagnosed with HIV. Of these, 189 have AIDS, or have already died of AIDS. Between 13 and 19, 40 AIDS cases have been diagnosed.

More than half of our high schoolers have had sexual intercourse. A third of the sexually active students do no use contraception.

Last year, there were 24,610 supported investigations of abuse and neglect in Massachusetts. Some 22,148 were neglected, 6,650 were physically abused, 1,415 were sexually abused, and 588 were emotionally maltreated.

A one day count by the Massachusetts Department of Education found 3,500 homeless children and adolescents, with 91 percent of the kids in shelters and motels under 13.

Some 155,128 public school student receive special education. Less than one percent receive them due to autism, deafness, blindness, brain injury, visual impairments, orthopedic impairments or other health problems. An additional 41,000 children are developmentally disabled (mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy).

Leading cause of death of young adults, ages 15 to 24 is motor vehicle related injuries. Followed by homicides, cancer and suicides.

In Massachusetts, 89 percent of all teen births are to unmarried mothers.

Those statistics come from the Massachusetts Legislative Children's Caucus, summarized in the State of Massachusetts Children and Youth Fact Book and just released.

Scary stuff.

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