"Boyfriends Often Abuse, Kill Children"

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on a story which appeared in the 6/2/02 issue of the Arizona Republic written by Karina Bland. To see the entire article, go to: www.arizonarepublic.com/arizona/articles/0602boyfriends.html

"Boyfriends Often Abuse, Kill Children"
We Write to the Arizona Republic on 6/9/02
Awaiting Their Response

"Boyfriends Often Abuse, Kill Children"

In this article, the author claims that "This is a very common scenario." While the limited information Karina reports may be true, it, once again, points the finger at men making them look like the real problem and takes the focus off the real perpetrators of child abuse - women.

Inquiring minds would like to know where Karina Bland gets her numbers to make her accusations. Her article seems to imply that the mother's boyfriend or stepfather is the primary risk factor for abuse. Are they a greater risk factor than the mother?

According to the most recent government data, women are the perpetrators in over 62% of all child abuse and lead in all categories except sexual abuse, where female parents still represent 27% of the perpetrators compared to 35% for the male parent. See www.menstuff.org/issues/byissue/childmaltreatment.html for more information or get a copy of the most recent data "10 Years of Reporting Child Maltreatment 1999," publishing in 2001 by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 800.FYI.3366.

Specifics for Arizona showed that in 1999, the state reported a total of 8 child fatalities from any kind of child maltreatment. While perpetrator numbers weren't broken down any further for Arizona, this is how they broke down for the U.S. in 1999: Almost 90% of all maltreatment fatality victims were maltreated by one or both of their parents. A deeper look at the perpetrators relationship with the victim shows that the perpetrator was the "female parent only" in 31.5% of the deaths and was the "female parent and other than the male parent" in another 16.3% of deaths, for a total of 47.8% of all deaths in 1999. On the other hand, the male parent acted alone in 10.7% of the deaths or with other than the female parent in another 1.1% for a total of 11.8%. Both parents were involved in another 21.3% of the deaths. Adding the numbers shows who kills their children: 69.1% involve the female parent. 33.1% involve the male parent. The remaining categories of care providers, relatives, and the unknown aren't reported as sex specific.

Of the 9,206 victims of any type of maltreatment in Arizona in 1999, 728 perpetrators were unknown, 8,181 were parents, 283 were other relatives, 11 foster parents, and 2 child day care providers. Are "boyfriends" the real problem here?

When these kinds of stories are printed, it hides the real problem of child abuse. Mothers are involved in over 2/3rds of all child abuse and child fatalities. and are the primary abuser in all categories of maltreatment except sexual abuse. Even there they are involved in over 27% of sexual abuse while the male parent is involved in 35% of the sexual abuse. That's only an 8% difference compared to a 36% difference in child fatalities with female parents representing the deaths over 2/3rds of the children. That's a pretty big number to ignore. Why is it such a secret?

Source: Arizona Republic. View the entire article at:  www.arizonarepublic.com/arizona/articles/0602boyfriends.html If you want to express your opinion, there are several avenues. It has to be under 200 words and a copy should go to Karina at karina.bland@arizonarepublic.com Karina's number is 602.444.8614. You can send a letter to the editor using their convenient form at www.arizonarepublic.com/talkback/ : Letters can be sent via U.S. Mail to: Letters to the Editor, The Arizona Republic, P.O. Box 2244, Phoenix, AZ 85002. Letters may also be faxed to 602.444.8933. For more information, call 602.444.8499.

We Wrote to the Arizona Republic on 6/9/02:

Letter to the Editor

Karina Bland's June 2 article "Boyfriends Often Abuse, Kill Children" takes the focus away from the real perpetrators of child abuse and fatalities? If you want to be on the lookout for the real perpetrators, look next door or down the cereal aisle or in your own home. That's where the killers turn-up. The parents of the children, two-thirds of which involved the mother, one-third involved the father.

Of the 9,205 victims of any type of maltreatment in Arizona in 1999, 8,181 were parents. Furthermore, women were the perpetrators in over 62% of all child abuse and led in all categories except sexual abuse, where female parents still represented 27% of the perpetrators compared to 35% for the male parent.

Reporting the names of five killer boyfriends is sensationalism and masks the real problem. However, reporting the names of the 8,181 Arizona parents who were guilty of maltreatment of their children in 1999 would be real gutsy reporting.

Stop sensationalizing minor issues and be the focal point in solving the major problem - helping those who are inadequately prepared to raise children, their parents and primarily their mothers. Be a leader in helping put an end to child abuse.

Gordon Clay


I don't quite know how to "sign" this e-mail so I have included the same story in a fax. Do you need anything more?

Also, the following is offered as editorial verification and information and is not intended to be part of the letter. Source for the statistics is "10 Years of Reporting Child Maltreatment 1999," publish in 2001 by The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. A free report is available by calling 800.FYI.3366. The following data are Arizona specific.

Total child population 1,334,563
Total Children Subject of a CPS Investigation or Assessment 52,611
Unsubstantiated 32,120
Other 11,286
Substantiated 9,205

Type of Abuse:
Neglect 5,376 (58.4%)
Physical 2,279 (24.8%)
Other 919 (10.0%)
Sexual Abuse 516 (5.6%)
Psychological 115 (1.3%)
Fatalities 8 (0.9%)

Perpetrator Relationship:
Female Parent Only 31.5%
Female Parent and Other 16.3%
Combined 47.8%
Male Parent only 10.7%
Male Parent and Other 1.1%
Combined 11.8%
Both Parents 21.3%
Total Involving Female Parent 69.1%
Total Involving Male Parent 33.1%
Substitute Care 6.1%
Other 5.7%
Family Relative 4.5%
Unknown 2.7%

Female victims 4,590 (50.2%)
Male victims 4,555 (49.8%)


0-3 3,027 (34.8%)
4-7 - 2,242 (24.4%)
8-11 - 1,874 (20.4%)
12-15 1,618 (17.6%)
16-17 416 (0.5%)
18 - 28 (0.03)

White 4,355 (47.3%)
Latino 2,851 (31.0%)
African-American 847 (9.2%)
American Indian 523 (5.7%)
Asian/Pacific Islander 88 (1.0%)
Unknown 510 (5.5%)
Other 31 (0.3%

Awaiting Their Response

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