The Signs of Abuse
Some signs of child abuse are more obvious than others. Here are some common signs of abuse:
- Has a child’s behavior changed? Do they experience fear, anxiety, depression, aggression or withdrawal?
- Is the child afraid to go home or to see certain individuals?
- Is a child showing overly sexualized behavior or using sexual language that is inappropriate for the child’s age?
- Have you noticed changes in a child’s sleeping patterns including frequent nightmares or difficulty falling asleep? Does the child look tired?
- Have you noticed changes in school performance and attendance, such as being unable to concentrate in class or frequent absences?
- Have a child’s eating habits changed leading to weight gain or loss?
- Do you see signs of visible unexplained injuries such as burns, bruises, or broken bones?
- Is a child using drugs or alcohol?
When a child has confided in you about their abuse…
- Keep Calm and tell them you believe them
- Do not ask them detailed questions about abuse
- Reassure them that whatever happened is NOT their fault.
- Call the Abuse Hotline, or Law Enforcement Immediately.
- If you suspect immediate danger call 911.
Childhelp is a US non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse. Founded in 1959 as International Orphans, Inc. by Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, Childhelp is one of the largest non-profit child abuse prevention and treatment organizations in the nation.
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization. NCMEC works with families, victims, private industry, law enforcement, and the public to assist with preventing child abductions, recovering missing children, and providing services to deter and combat child sexual exploitation.
National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information
Child Welfare Information Gateway promotes the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, youth, and families by connecting child welfare, adoption, and related professionals as well as the public to information, resources, and tools covering topics on child welfare, child abuse and neglect, out-of-home care, adoption, and more.
Florida Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers
The Florida Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers (FNCAC) is the statewide membership organization representing all local children’s advocacy centers in the state of Florida.
Another Way, Inc.
Another Way shall offer counseling, support, and safe shelter to survivors of domestic and sexual violence; while providing a positive alternative to violence through community education.
Florida Department of Children and Families
The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) is a state agency of Florida. The department provides social services to children, adults, refugees, domestic violence victims, human trafficking victims, the homeless community, child care providers, disabled people, elderly.
Peaceful Paths is the certified domestic violence center that serves survivors of domestic violence in Alachua, Bradford, and Union counties. Peaceful Paths provides a wide range of services including emergency shelter, 24-hour helpline, victim advocacy, children’s programming, education and training, crisis counseling and support groups, community awareness and intervention, and violence prevention programs.
Partnerships for Strong Families (PFSF)
Tri-County Community Resource Center
PSF’s fourth resource center is our first full-time resource center established outside of Alachua County. The Tri-County Community Resource Center is located in Chiefland, Florida and serves residents of Levy, Gilchrist and Dixie counties residents. The center is staffed by a center manager employed by PSF and aided by several volunteers. TCCRC provides an array of free services and resources that citizens in the communities served have indicated are a need.
Village Counseling Center
VCC is a private mental health agency offering a comprehensive array of mental health services to adults, children, adolescents and their families.
Farm Share is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization works daily to make sure that food-insecure Floridians receive the food and support they need.
Early Learning Coalition of the Nature Coast
The Coalition will collaborate with parents to integrate a system of services and facilitate quality early education programs that include linkages to all areas of child development.
Palms Medical Group
Palms Medical Group is a not-for-profit health care provider committed to bringing quality, affordable primary care and preventative services to you.
State Attorney’s Office
The State Attorney is charged under Florida law with being the chief prosecuting officer for his judicial circuit and the counties in it. Florida statutes and criminal rules define those duties, which are primarily focused on criminal offenders. The State Attorney, with his appointed Assistants and other staff, appear in the courts to represent the interests of justice and of the people.
Three Rivers Legal Services
Three Rivers Legal Services, Inc. is a non-profit law firm dedicated to the provision of quality legal assistance to the poor, abused, disabled and elderly, and to empowerment through preventive legal education.