Any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child's welfare are asked to call and make a report. The Abuse Hotline is available Monday-Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm at 937-644-1010. For evenings, weekends and holidays, contact Union County Sherriff’s Office at 937-645-4110.
There are many misconceptions about child abuse, but the truth is that abuse occurs across all ethnic, social, and economic boundaries. To protect children, it is important to focus on the physical and behavioral clues that indicate abuse or neglect.
Identifying Child Abuse and Neglect:
Neglect is the failure to act on behalf of child either physically, emotionally, or educationally. These children may wear clothes that don’t fit properly or are inappropriate to for the weather. They may be under or overweight and are often sick or tired. These children may also have poor hygiene.
Emotional abuse consists of continual attitude or acts which interfere with a child's psychological or social development. This includes saying things that make a child feel worthless or unwanted. These children often seem unattached or uncaring about what goes on around them. They often express fear, anger or sadness more often and intensely than most children. These children are often unsuccessful in school and hurt themselves on purpose.
Physical abuse is an act that results in non-accidental injury or threat of harm to a child. Common indications of physical abuse are bruises or injuries that aren’t explained by typical childhood falls or accidents. Also, injuries in unusual places, such as the inside of legs or arms, or on the back can indicate physical abuse. When the explanation for the injury changes, injuries occur frequently, and/or the injuries are left untreated, the child is likely the victim of physical abuse and the situation needs to be reported.
Sexual abuse is any sexually natured act upon or with a child. Common indications of sexual abuse are a child may start being aggressive, withdrawn, clingy, have difficulties sleeping, having nightmares or start wetting the bed. These children often have age-inappropriate knowledge of sex. Many run away from home or attempt suicide.