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REPORTING 

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


Every adult in the State of Texas is required to make a report when child abuse is suspected. You do not have to investigate or be certain that abuse has occurred - you only have to suspect. 


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  • Call 911 or the Child Abuse Hotline at 1.800.252.5400 (Call our Abuse Hotline toll-free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, nationwide, or report with our secure website and get a response within 24 hours)
  • Report online at Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
  • Visit The Dallas Children's Advocacy Center for more information about children abuse awareness, prevention and recovery. 

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

Any form of sexual activity with a child *(under 17) by an adult or by another older child, which the child is developmentally unprepared and cannot give informed consent.


A child can never provide genuine consent to engage in sexual activity with anyone. Children are not psychologically or emotionally developed to comprehend the consequences associated with sexual activity. Adults are 100% responsible for their behavior when a child is in their presence.

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CATEGORIES OF ABUSE

Many believe in order for sexual abuse to have occurred penetration must happen. However, this is a myth. Sexual abuse can be classified into three categories.


Visual

  • exposing a child to pornography
  • exposing of genitals
  • lustful peering looks at a child
  • force, manipulation or coercion of a child to observe
  • sexual acts of another

Verbal

  • graphic sexual descriptions of a sexual nature about a child’s developing body
  • calling a child by a derogatory name (i.e., slut, whore, bitch, etc)
  • exposing a child to sexual jokes, teasing or graphic sexual descriptions
  • communicating in a sexual manner over the phone or Internet

Physical

  • touching a child’s genitals or having them to touch the genitals of another
  • sexual intercourse (penetration of vagina with penis or other objects)
  • kissing a child in a sexual nature (i.e., french kissing)
  • performing oral sex on a child or forcing a child to perform oral sex on another
  • forcing a child to engage in group sex or sex rings with adults or other children

All forms of sexual abuse is damaging and impacts every area of life: physically, emotionally, psychologically, relationally and spiritually.


NOTE: When sexual abuse occurs in childhood, the negative effects will not just go away or stop when the abuse does. The effects will flow over into adulthood and if not dealt with appropriately the destructive and negative patterns will continue in the life of the survivor.


*In Texas, the legal age to consent to sexual activity.