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Facts & Data

WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE?

In Texas, more than 3 children die from abuse or neglect on average every week, 182 children are confirmed victims daily, and more than 7 children are maltreated every hour.

2014 Texas Child Abuse and Neglect Fact Sheet (PDF)

Child abuse is the mistreatment of a child that results in harm or injury. There are four basic types of child abuse. Children being abused are likely to experience more than just one type of abuse.

Neglect

Failure to provide for a child’s basic physical, medical, or emotional needs. Leaving a young child home alone or failing to provide needed medical care may also be considered neglect. Over 80% of child abuse cases in Texas and in the U.S. are the result of neglect.

Forms:

  • failure to provide necessary food or shelter
  • inattention to a child's emotional needs
  • lack of appropriate supervision
  • failure to provide necessary medical or mental health treatment
  • failure to provide psychological care
  • failure to educate a child or attend to special education needs
  • permitting the child to use alcohol or other drugs

Indicators of Neglect:

  • Begging, stealing food
  • Extended stays at school (early arrival/late departure)
  • Constant fatigue, listlessness, or falling asleep in class
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Delinquency
  • Consistent hunger, poor hygiene, inappropriate dress
  • Consistent lack of supervision, especially in dangerous activities or over long periods
  • Unattended physical problems
  • Abandonment

Physical Abuse

A physical injury that results in substantial harm to the child, such as bruises, fractures, or death. It also can include a genuine threat of harm even if there is no visible injury.

Forms:

  • hitting
  • punching
  • beating
  • throwing
  • shaking
  • stabbing
  • kicking
  • biting
  • choking
  • burning

Indicators of Physical Abuse:

  • Unexplained bruises and welts
  • Unexplained burns
  • Unexplained fractures
  • Unexplained lacerations or abrasions
  • Wary of adult contact
  • Apprehensive when other children cry
  • Behavioral extremes:
    • Aggressiveness or withdrawal
    • Frightened of parents or other significant persons
    • Afraid to go home
  • Reports injury by parents

Emotional Abuse

An action that results in a marked impact on a child's growth, development, or psychological functioning. Emotional abuse includes extreme forms of punishment such as confining a child in a dark closet, habitual scapegoating, or belittling to the point that it results in noticeable effects on the child's daily functioning.

Forms:

  • Constant Criticism
  • Threats
  • Rejection
  • Withholding Love, Support, or Guidance

Indicators of Emotional Abuse:

  • Speech disorders
  • Lags in physical development
  • Habit disorders (sucking, biting, rocking, etc.)
  • Conduct disorders (anti-social, destructive, etc.)
  • Neurotic traits (sleep disorders, inhibition of play)
  • Psychoneurotic reactions (hysteria, obsession, compulsion, phobias, hypochondria)
  • Behavior extremes: Compliant, passive; Aggressive, demanding; Overly adaptive behavior; or Inappropriately infant

Sexual Abuse

Sexual conduct harmful to a child's mental, emotional, or physical welfare. This includes fondling a child’s genitals, penetration, indecent exposure, and exploitation through prostitution or producing pornography.

Forms:

  • Inappropriate touching
  • Penetration
  • Incest
  • Rape
  • Sodomy
  • Indecent exposure
  • Exploitation through prostitution; or the production of pornographic material

Indicators of Sexual Abuse:

  • Venereal disease in a child of any age
  • Pregnancy at an early age
  • Evidence of physical trauma to the genital area or mouth
  • Odd or unusually shaped bruises; caused by sucking
  • Complaints of itching, pain or discomfort around the genital area
  • Torn, stained, or bloody underclothing
  • Extreme passivity when touched
  • Abrupt change in behavior
  • Seductive behavior with classmates, teachers, other adults
  • Promiscuity Touching to either extreme either inappropriate sexual touch and behavior or extreme reluctance to be touched by an adult
  • A knowledge of sex that is inappropriate for the child’s age or developmental level; explicit knowledge of sex acts
  • An unusual interest or fixation with sexual acts or terminology
  • Refusal to undress for physical education
  • Reluctance to be with a certain person

Everyone is a Mandatory Reporter in Texas. Click here to find out more about the laws in Texas.

Report Child Abuse or Neglect Now! Call 1-800-252-5400 (or 911 if imminent danger)

More information at https://www.txabusehotline.org/


Our Mission

Our mission is to reduce and prevent child abuse and neglect through research, advocacy and education. We effect change by organizing and educating our members to advocate for increased investments in evidence-based child abuse prevention programs, CPS reforms, and treatment programs to heal abuse victims. Learn more about the work we do. You can help protect Texas children from abuse & neglect. Find out how you can help.

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