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Child abuse in the US: Introduction

14 October 2011 Last updated at 14:03 BST

Sixty-six children under the age of 15 die from physical abuse or neglect every week in the industrialised world. Twenty-seven of those die in the US.

Even when populations are taken into account, Unicef research places the US equal bottom with Mexico on child deaths from maltreatment.

Why does the US have such a poor record? Are Americans simply more violent, or are the country's institutions failing to protect children? The BBC tried to find out.