A child may suffer purposeful or accidental harm by a parent or caretaker. It is often difficult to separate physical and emotional abuse and neglect, as they frequently occur at the same time. Some common definitions of terms are as follows:
Physical Abuse - non-accidental injuries, such as bruises, burns, welts, cuts and fractures inflicted by any person.
Physical Neglect - failure to provide basic needs, such as food, medical care, clothing, and protection that a child needs for adequate growth and development.
Emotional Abuse and Neglect - negative interaction between a parent and child, such as constant undue criticism, verbal abuse, ignoring the child or other forms of rejecting the child.
Sexual Abuse - situations of sexual stimulation, incest and sexual exploitation which may include using children in pornographic films or photographs.
What To Do If you suspect abuse is occurring please contact the Agency at 937-599-7290 to report your concerns. Even if you are not sure if the concerns would meet criteria for an investigation it is still important to make a report. All reports are confidential and a record is kept of each report made.
What do I do if I witness abuse in public places?
If you see a child being abused in public, here are suggestions to help:
Avoid negative looks or comments. This may only increase the adult’s anger, making things worse for the child.
Divert the adult’s attention. Start a conversation with them, offering sympathy. For example, you could say, “Shopping with children can really try your patience, can’t it?”
Talk to the child. If the child is acting out or misbehaving, start a friendly conversation to distract him or her.
Praise the parent or child. Find something positive to say about either of them. For example, you could say, “That’s a pretty dress your daughter is wearing. Where did you get it?”
Offer to help. For example, if a child has been left unattended in a grocery cart, stay near him or her until a caretaker returns.
Keep yourself safe and alert authorities if necessary. Contact law enforcement and/or local Children Services Agency.