Below is a list of some of the most commonly asked questions on child abuse and neglect in Southwest Ohio. If you have a different question, please contact us.
What is the definition of child abuse and neglect?
Although each state has its own definition of child maltreatment guided by federal law, many states identify neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse as major types of mistreatment.
- CHILD NEGLECT is the leading form of child abuse in the United States and occurs when a caretaker fails to provide for a child’s basic needs, which include adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, supervision, and medical care or safekeeping. Many caregivers are not aware that their behavior could be construed as neglect.
- CHILD ABUSE is any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caregiver that results in a child’s serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, exploitation or death. An act or failure to act that presents a risk of serious harm to a child is also considered to be child abuse.
Is child abuse and neglect really an issue in Southwest Ohio?
In a recent report in 2014, the counties that make up our region showed that there were:
- 10,458 reports of child abuse & neglect
- 4,735 child victims substantiated
- 1,549 substantiated reports of neglect
- 2,824 substantiated reports of physical abuse
This problem is not going away and we all need to play a part in making a difference for the families in our community. Learn more about the issue.
What are the warning signs to look for if I suspect a child may be at risk of abuse or neglect?
A child who is being abused may feel afraid to tell anyone about the abuse, especially if the abuser is a parent or other caregiver. When children disclose that they are experiencing abuse or neglect, it is seldom straightforward. Children sometimes try to alert adults by changing their behavior or by making vague verbal statements. They are looking for support and your response can help impact their ability to recover from the trauma which is why it is critical to watch for red flags, such as:
- Unexplained injuries
- Changes in behavior
- Fear of going home
- Changes in eating or sleeping
- Changes at school
- Lack of personal care
- Risk-taking behaviors
- Inappropriate sexual behavior
Where can I find helpful resources to learn how I can support my family and community in this initiative?
Caregivers can access tips and tools for positive parenting and creating a healthy home environment by visiting the Take Action section. For advice on ways you can support caregivers and create positive change within your community, learn more at the Take Action section.
How can I get involved and support the initiatives of this campaign?
Posters, flyers, and other materials can be accessed on the Community Toolkit. Use these assets to educate others about the issues facing our region, as well as how everyone can be a positive force in creating a better future for the children in our lives, ensuring that every child in Southwest Ohio has the opportunity and resources to grow up safe and healthy.