What is Abuse?

Abuse is mental, emotional, physical, or sexual injury to a child or failure to prevent such injury to a child.

Signs of Abuse:


  •  Obvious malnourishment.

  •  Lack of personal cleanliness, torn/dirty clothes

  •  Obvious fatigue or listlessness.

  •  A child unattended for long periods of time.

  •  Stealing or begging for food.

  •  Frequent absences or tardiness from school.

  •  Need for glasses, dental care, or other medical  attention.

Physical Abuse:

  • Frequent complaints of pain without any obvious injury.

  • Aggressive, disruptive behavior

  • Lack of reaction to pain

  • Passive, withdrawn, emotionless behavior.

  • Unseasonable clothes hiding arms, legs

  • Frequent unexplained injuries such as bruises, cuts, burns, or black eyes

Sexual Abuse:

  • Sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy.

  • Evidence of injury to the genital area.

  • Difficulty sitting or walking.

  • Frequent expressions of sexual activity between adults and children.

  • Extreme fear of  being alone with adults,especially if of a particular gender.

  • Sexually suggestive, age inappropriate, or promiscuous behavior.

  • Sexual victimization to other children.

  • Complaints of painful urination.

  • Knowledge about sexual relations beyond what is age appropriate.

Reporting Abuse:

Will the person know I've reported him or her?
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 your 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.

Texas Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-252-5400

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500 W Main St. Henderson, TX 75653

P. O. Box 1271