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Call 1-800-252-5400 to report abuse
Visit txabusehotline.org to report abuse online
Child maltreatment, sometimes referred to as child abuse and neglect, includes all forms of physical and emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation that results in actual or potential harm to the child's health, development or dignity. Within this broad definition, five subtypes can be distinguished – physical abuse; sexual abuse; neglect and negligent treatment; emotional abuse; and exploitation.
At The Center for Prevention of Child Maltreatment, we want you to know that you aren't alone. We're committed to strengthening families and communities so maltreatment of all forms can be avoided. We've compiled tips and resources to help you develop and promote healthy parenting so we can set strong examples against child maltreatment. If you should get overwhelmed, you'll find resources for that as well. Help is just a phone call away. Call the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400.
Maltreatment can occur outside the home, sometimes in places we like to think of as "safe," and can include peer groups (bullying, date rape, hazing, etc.). Maltreatment can also begin with a stranger who befriends kids and leads them into human trafficking with promises of glamour, money, material goods ... and love. But abuse can – and most often does – happen in the home or within the family. Knowing what constitutes maltreatment is the first step toward stopping it. Maltreatment of a child includes:
For more in-depth information on child maltreatment, how to recognize it, and what you can do help bring an end to this needless childhood malady, visit www.helpandhope.org.
Child maltreatment is more common than most people imagine. Victims of sexual and physical abuse may be girls or boys of any age. Abuse occurs in all types of families. Recent statistics indicate that one in three girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Abuse can be devastating for young victims, but they often show no obvious physical signs of the abuse. Some behavioral and emotional responses are common among the victims of sexual and physical abuse. Parents should remember that not all children who demonstrate these behaviors have been abused.
*List adapted from material by Suzanne Sgroi, M.D., a leading researcher in the area of child sexual abuse.
** List adapted from material by Robert Reece, M.D., a national expert in child maltreatment.
If you suspect that a child is the victim of maltreatment, contact your local police department. You can also call the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400, or file a report at www.TxAbuseHotline.org. If it is an emergency, please dial 911 for assistance.
Promoting healthy parenting practices and the prevention of child maltreatment is an issue that we can't tackle alone. Here are some of the groups that would love to hear from you:
Do you know of someone you'd like to share this information with? Please feel free to use our messaging below or create your own.
To use our messaging, all you have to do is copy the messages we've provided below and insert the appropriate photo into whichever social media site you use. We ask that you include #stopchildabuse in the message to join the nationwide conversation about child abuse prevention.
Social media text to include with image: Victims of child abuse often show no physical symptoms. Be on the lookout for behavioral or emotional changes in a child that include depression, aggressive behavior, wearing clothes to hide injuries, withdrawal from friends or usual activities and more. For more information, visit www.saynotoabuse.org. #stopchildabuse
Social media text to include with image: Common signs of sexual abuse include depression, anxiety, changes in sleep patterns, acting out sexually and eating disorders. For more information, visit www.saynotoabuse.org. #stopchildabuse
Social media text to include with image: There is no excuse for child abuse. Speak up for the children who may not have a voice. Call the Texas Abuse Hotline 800-252-5400 to report suspected abuse. #stopchildabuse
Social media text to include with image: Most abuse happens in the home or within the family. But it can also occur in other places we like to think of as “safe.” Help your child understand that it's okay to say no to someone who is trying to get them to do something uncomfortable – even if they know them. For more information, visit www.saynotoabuse.org. #stopchildabuse
Social media text to include with image: There are many reasons why a child may not report child abuse … fear, confusion, depression or they may even think it's their fault. Call the Texas Abuse Hotline 800-252-5400 to report suspected abuse. For more information, visit www.saynotoabuse.org. #stopchildabuse
Social media text to include with image: There were 5,630 confirmed victims of abuse and neglect in 2017. That's 5,630 too many. For more information, visit www.saynotoabuse.org. #stopchildabuse
Social media text to include with image: Signs of neglect include malnourishment, frequent sickness, poor hygiene and dirty clothing and frequent absences and tardiness at school. For more information, visit www.saynotoabuse.org. #stopchildabuse
Maltreatment hurts us all. Becoming aware of maltreatment is the first step toward stopping it. That's why our C.A.R.E. Team and The Center for Prevention of Child Maltreatment offer community-based training on the medical aspects of child maltreatment for health professionals and others, such as law enforcement and child protection workers. We also provide training to various community agencies on the dynamics of child sexual and physical abuse and related topics.
For more information on scheduling community education and training, call Cook Children's at 682-885-3953. If you are concerned that a child is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.