Story: Child abuse

Deaths of children due to assault, 1948–2018 (1st of 2)

This graph charts child deaths between 1948 and 2018 where the underlying cause of death was assault. This data is for children aged under 15. The trend is volatile (it frequently moves up and down sharply) due to the relatively small number of deaths.

To determine cause of death, Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand and its predecessor agencies reviewed death certificates, the health history of the deceased, and coroners’ determinations. All deaths where someone has died unexpectedly, violently or in suspicious circumstances are referred to a coroner. Coroners often take two years or longer to officially determine a cause of death. Significant delays can occur in providing recent annual data, as Te Whatu Ora does not make mortality data publicly available until most deaths in a year have been assigned a cause of death, to ensure the data is relatively complete.

Using this item

Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Source: Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand, mortality data, 2024

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Bronwyn Dalley, 'Child abuse - Rates of child abuse', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 July 2024)

Story by Bronwyn Dalley, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 7 Jan 2024