Child Abuse

Today’s Children:

  • Children are present in 41-55% of homes where police intervene in domestic violence calls.
  • Children from violent homes have higher risks of substance abuse and juvenile delinquency.
  • Studies show that child abuse occurs in 30-60% of family violence cases that involve families with children. (Carter and Stevens 1999)
  • 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys are sexually abused before they reach the age of 18. (Cooney 1988)
  • Every year, 3 to 10 million children witness domestic violence. (Carter and Stevens 1999)
  • Mothers are 8 times more likely to hurt their children when they were being battered than when they were safe from violence (Walker 1984).

Ways to Detect Child Abuse
When a child has accidentally injured themselves, the bruise or mark usually appears on bony parts of the body, limited to one side. Also, the child’s story is consistent with the injury.

1. Non Accidental Injuries include:
  • Numerous bruises
  • Bald Patches
  • Cigarette burns
  • Pattern burns
  • Bruises of different ages
  • Belt or Cord marks
  • Human bite marks
  • Genital bruising
  • Broken bones
  • Slap or grab marks
  • Bruises on different parts of the body
2. Possible Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse are:
  • Painful urination or itching
  • Nightmares
  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Fear of adults
  • Bruising in the genital area
  • Public masturbation
  • Fear of going home
  • Highly sexualized behaviors
  • Strange, unpleasant odor
  • Sexual knowledge inappropriate to the age
  • Fear of bathrooms or closed doors
3. Emotional Abuse:

A child receiving emotional abuse may exhibit behaviors like severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal and improper aggressive behavior. For this charge to be made, these behaviors must be caused by acts or omissions of a parent or caretaker. A psychiatrist or a psychologist must diagnose emotional abuse.

4. Neglect: 

Defined by a lack of necessary food, housing, supervision or medical care, neglect must be evaluated within the context of cultural standards; these may differ from those prevailing in the community.

Important Numbers for Children in Crisis:
NFHC Youth Shelter: (928) 527-1800

Arizona Child Abuse Hotline (888) 767-2445

Flagstaff Police Dept. Non-Emergency Line (928) 774-1414

Sheriff’s Department (928) 774-4523