Chilling photos from inside people's homes have emerged as the FBI attempts to rescue victims of child abuse.
The images, released on Twitter and Facebook, reveal subtle clues about people's homes that somebody could identify, such as a clock, decorated calendar and a lounge room.
"Law enforcement officials are seeking information about certain images which may help lead to the identification and rescue of child victims," the FBI said in a statement.
"The FBI utilises image analysis to identify clues to where a child may be held. By recognising these clues and/or sharing additional observations from the backgrounds of these images, you may help first to identify and rescue the child victim(s) and second to capture the perpetrator.
"There is no clue or piece of information too small."
A calendar featured in one of the images released by police is decorated with cars, while another shows an unidentified person wearing a red hat with a white logo of the letter 'C'.
Another shows a brown dresser while a green chair with a cushion and matching ottoman are seen in another.
Police also released a picture of a blue T-shirt with a cartoon while a photo of certificates and a clock on a green wall could act as another subtle clue.
The FBI's post about the images has been retweeted almost 5000 times while it has been shared almost 3000 times on Facebook since it was posted on Sunday.
Increase in deaths due to child abuse, neglect
According to the newest available data released by the Administration for Children and Families in 2020, there had been an increase in the number of children who suffered maltreatment for the first time since 2015.
“The increase in the number of children who are reported as victims of maltreatment is a major driver in our resolute and unceasing efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect once and for all,” associate commissioner of the Children's Bureau, Jerry Milner, said in a statement.
Between October 2017 and September 2018, there were 678,000 children determined to be victims of maltreatment, which was up from 674,000 the year before.
Of the victims, 60.8 per cent were neglected, 10.7 per cent were physically abused and seven per cent were sexually abused.
The data found more than 15 per cent were victims of two or more maltreatment types.
Tragically the number of deaths as a result of child abuse and neglect increased in 2018, with 1770 succumbing to maltreatment.
“This report again demonstrates that most children enter the foster care system, not from physical abuse, but from neglect,” Mr Milner said.
“All too often, we know that neglect is closely tied to poverty and therefore requires us to pinpoint our focus on strengthening communities to meet the basic needs of families to increase their capacity to care for their children in safe and loving homes.
"Addressing poverty and other root causes of neglect before they rise to the level of requiring a maltreatment report will help to prevent much of the trauma and disruption that children and families experience when difficulties go unresolved and lead to more intensive interventions.”
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