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WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE?

Five children die everyday in the US from either malnutrition or physical abuse. That's almost 2000 children EACH YEAR. But that statistic only covers the reported cases. Studies have shown as much as 50% are unaccounted for.

70% of those children were 2 years of age or younger.

80% of those children were abused by their own parent.

6.6 MILLION children are referred to the state child protective services. That's one child every 10 seconds.

And only 3.2 million of those children will be investigated.

5 TYPES OF ABUSE

PHYSICAL ABUSE

The most common type. Includes any non-accidental physical injury caused to a child.

SEXUAL ABUSE

Includes molestations, incest, rape, prostitution or use of a child for any pornographic purposes, physical/direct contact or non-physical/no touching (indecent exposure, talking about sex designated to shock or interest a child, allowing a child to watch or hear sexual acts).

EMOTIONAL NEGLECT

When a parent or guardian fails to act or respond appropriately to a child's feelings, or show a persistent lack of concern for a child's welfare. This can include blaming, belittling or rejecting a child or treating siblings unequally.

EMOTIONAL ABUSE

Also known as Psychological abuse/violence or Mental Abuse is when a child is subject to behavior that could result in psychological trauma including anxiety, chronic depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

PHYSICAL NEGLECT

When a parent or guardian fails to meet a child's basic needs such as food, water, shelter, clothing, medical care and supervision. In 2014 state agencies found an estimate of 702,000 victims of child maltreatment.

REPORTING CHILD ABUSE

REPORTING CHILD ABUSE: An oral report must be made immediately (within
48 hours) to nearest Child Protective Service Office, to the 24-hour Child Abuse hotline (1-800-252-5400), or to the local law enforcement officials. Anyone who files a report is immune from civil or criminal liability - if the report is made in "good faith" and "without malice". "Good faith" means the person took reasonable steps to learn the facts that were readily available and at hand. "Without malice" means the person did not intend to injure or violate the rights of another person.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I MAKE THE DECISION TO REPORT SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE?

Several events take place after the initial complaint is filed. Depending on where you live, you might report suspected abuse and/or neglect to your local child protective agency. The person responding to the call may ask you several questions about what you are reporting. This is done to ensure that enough information is available for the investigative team to make decisions concerning whether or not abuse/neglect has occurred. You might be asked to give names of the family and child, your reasons for suspecting abuse, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of other witnesses, your relationship to the alleged victim, any other previous suspicious injury to the child. You may also be asked for your name, address and telephone number.