Childhelp USA® is one of the largest and oldest national non-profits dedicated to the treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect. Since its founding in 1959 by Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, the organization has directly provided help and hope to millions of children and adults whose lives have been traumatized by child abuse.
National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)
Crisis Counselors Available 24/7
The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. Serving the United States, its territories, and Canada, the Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who, through interpreters, can provide assistance in 170 languages. The Hotline offers crisis intervention, information, literature, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are anonymous and confidential.
Although there are many formal and acceptable definitions of child abuse, the following is offered as a guide for information on child abuse and neglect.
Child abuse consists of any act of commission or omission that endangers or impairs a child’s physical or emotional health and development. Child abuse includes any damage done to a child which cannot be reasonably explained and which is often represented by an injury or series of injuries appearing to be non-accidental in nature.
- Physical abuse: Any non-accidental injury to a child. This includes hitting, kicking, slapping, shaking, burning, pinching, hair pulling, biting, choking, throwing, shoving, whipping, and paddling.
- Sexual abuse: Any sexual act between an adult and child. This includes fondling, penetration, intercourse, exploitation, pornography, exhibitionism, child prostitution, group sex, oral sex, or forced observation of sexual acts.
- Neglect: Failure to provide for a child’s physical needs. This includes lack of supervision, inappropriate housing or shelter, inadequate provision of food and water, inappropriate clothing for season or weather, abandonment, denial of medical care and inadequate hygiene.
- Emotional abuse: Any attitude or behavior which interferes with a child’s mental health or social development. This includes yelling, screaming, name-calling, shaming, negative comparisons to others, telling them they are “bad, no good, worthless” or “a mistake.” It also includes the failure to provide the affection and support necessary for the development of a child’s emotional, social, physical and intellectual well-being. This includes ignoring, lack of appropriate physical affection (hugs), not saying “I love you,” withdrawal of attention, lack of praise and lack of positive reinforcement.
- Foster Care – Childhelp foster care services in Southern California, Michigan and Tennessee provide short and long-term therapeutic foster care to abused and neglected children within a caring and safe environment in which they can continue their development. Read more details here
- Community Center – Based in Arizona, Childhelp’s community center provides a wide range of services to families in need. The H.K. Cummings Center provides assistance for families in crisis, and offers many social and educational experiences for families – including before and after school care programs. Read more details here
- Group Homes – Childhelp group homes provide safe, stable environments for neglected, abused and abandoned children. Our homes offer Independent living and provide children with the financial and literacy skills they need to transition to adulthood. Read more details here
- Residential Treatment Facilities – Located in rural communities, Childhelp residential treatment facilities (known as villages) provide specialized, comprehensive treatment programs for court-referred, severely abused, neglected and at risk children. Read more details here
- Advocacy Centers – The four children’s advocacy centers under the Childhelp umbrella utilize a highly effective, one-stop approach to the investigation of child abuse. The centers provide a collaborative child-friendly facility at which members of the investigative team provide treatment for abused children while pursuing the prosecution of offenders. Read more details here
- Prevention – Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe is a research based, comprehensive primary prevention education curriculum that equips children in Grades 1-6 and their adult community with skills they need to play a significant role in the prevention or interruption of physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect. Read more details here
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Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)