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Blue Ribbon: Child Abuse

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Child abuse is seldom a single event. Rather, it occurs with regularity, often increasing in violence. It crosses all boundaries of income, race, ethnicity, and religious faith.

A child abuser is usually closely related to the child, such as a parent, stepparent or other caregiver. Child abuse includes: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect.

In homes where child abuse occurs, fear, instability and confusion replace the love, comfort and nurturing that children need.

Abused children live in constant fear of physical harm from a person who is supposed to care for and protect them. They may feel guilt at loving the abuser or blame themselves for causing the violence.

Depending on where you live, you might report suspected abuse or neglect to your local Child Protective Services (CPS) agency. These agencies are sometimes called Social Services, Human Services, Human Welfare, or Children and Family Services. If you think that a child is in immediate danger, you should call your local police or 911 immediately.