What is child abuse?
• Physical neglect - not taking care of a child’s physical need for health & safety
• Educational neglect - not giving the child appropriate opportunities to learn such as not sending a child to school or having him or her take part in state-approved alternative education.
• Emotional neglect - not meeting a child’s emotional need. For example, withholding affection, exposing a child to a domestic environment (as a witness), and giving permission to use alcohol and other illegal drugs.
• Emotional abuse - any attitude, behavior, or failure to act on the part of the caregiver that interferes with a child’s mental health or social development.
• Physical abuse - any non-accidental physical injury to a child.
• Sexual abuse - any sexual act between an adult and a minor or between two minors when one exerts power over the other. Forcing, coercing or persuading a child to engage in any type of sexual act.
Your report is confidential and is not subject to public release under the Open Records Act. The law provides for immunity from civil or criminal liability for innocent persons who report even unfounded suspicions, as long as report is made in good faith. Your identity is kept confidential.
What if I'm not sure?
If you have reason to suspect child abuse, but are not positive, make the report. If you have any doubts about whether or not it is abuse, call the hotline. They can advise you on whether the signs you have observed are abuse.