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Child Abuse

Child abuse is the physical, sexual or emotional mistreatment or neglect of a child or children. Child abuse can occur in a child's home, or in the organizations, schools or communities the child interacts with. Here are some guidelines/tips in case you may need to report an issue with child abuse:

What the law says:

Anyone "having cause to believe that a child's physical or mental health or welfare has been or may be adversely affected by abuse or neglect" MUST report the case to any state or local laws enforcement agency and the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services.

Reporting:

An oral report must be made immediately to the nearest Child Protective Service Office, to the 24-hour Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-253-5400), or to the local law enforcement officials. As a follow-up, a written report must be made into the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services within 5 days.

Anyone who files a report is immune from civil or criminal liability –if the report is made in "good faith" and "without malice".

Children Most Likely to be Abused

  • Handicapped and/or mentally challenged children
  • Unwanted children
  • Small preemies
  • Child with "will of own"—inquisitive, demanding

Types of Abuse

  • Neglect
    • Lack of personal cleanliness
    • Needs glasses, dental care, medical attention
    • Body and Hair dirty, body odor
    • Obvious malnutrition
  • Physical
  • Frequent injuries
  • Wearing unseasonable clothes
  • Lack of reaction to pain
  • Inconsistence between injury and mechanism
  • Pregnancy in a young girl
  • Suicide attempts
  • Pain in genital area
  • Difficulty sitting/walking
  • Poor peer relationships
  • Developmental lags
  • Overly adaptive behavior
  • Substance behavior
  • Speech disorders
  • Sexual
  • Emotional

In the South Plains Area –Prevention & Intervention Resources:

Covenant Children's Hospital
806.725.KIDS
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