Child Abuse

Do You Know the Facts?

Nationwide in 2016, Child Protective Services had 4.1 million referrals for child abuse or neglect.  That involved approximately 7.4 million children.  In Georgia, children experience all forms of abuse, including psychological, physical and sexual abuse and neglect. Seventy percent of reported cases in Georgia (2016) were children under the age of three.  Also in 2016, 97 children lost their lives due to abuse.

Abuse Defined

Physical abuse – “Child Physical abuse occurs when an adult or older child inflicts non-accidental harm on a child. This harm can include kicking, biting, shoving, choking, hair pulling, throwing or any other actions that bring harm to a child.” abuse.publichealth.gsu.edu

Neglect  - “Child neglect is the most common form of child abuse. It occurs when the basic needs of a child go unmet and the child experiences harm as a result. Basic needs or rights of children include adequate food, clothing, education, health care, nurturing and emotional support, and housing.” abuse.publichealth.gsu.edu   Click here to view the 4 types of neglect. 

Sexual Abuse – “Child Sexual Abuse is defined as the sexual exploitation or victimization of a child by an adult, adolescent or older child.” abuse.publichealth.gsu.edu This type of abuse can take many forms and is far too common.

Emotional – “Emotional abuse of a child occurs when a parent or caregiver intentionally scares, humiliates or ignores a child. This type of abuse can seriously interfere with a child’s cognitive, emotional, psychological or social development.” abuse.publichealth.gsu.edu

For more information, download a Child Physical Abuse Fact Sheet or Questions and Answers about Child Physical Abuse from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

How to Report Child Abuse

Under Georgia law, mandatory reporting is required by certain professionals working with children under the age of 18 years old who suspect they are experiencing abuse. These can include, but are not limited to, physicians, counselors, school teachers and administrators, law enforcement and clergy.  A report must be filed within 24 hours by phone, email, electronically or fax.

If you suspect a child is being abused call 1-855-GACHILD / 1-855-422-4453. Or for assistance and information call the Prevent Child Abuse Georgia helpline at 1-800-CHILDREN. 

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