Get Help


By law, citizens are required to make a report if they suspect or witness child abuse. Child abuse may be reported to a toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-252-5400 or online at

If you feel your situation is a life-threatening emergency, dial 911 or contact your local law enforcement agency immediately.

If you need to report child abuse in a different state, please call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453.

If you are looking for a children’s advocacy center in another part of Texas, visit Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas for a complete list. The National Children’s Alliance maintains a list of Children’s Advocacy Centers across the United States.


Behavioral Indicators of Physical or Sexual Abuse

  • Drop in school performance or sudden non-participation in school activities
  • Skipping school, running away from home
  • Arriving early to school and staying late
  • Drug use other than experimental
  • Feelings of low self-worth
  • Eating disorders – anorexia, bulimia, sudden change in appetite
  • Sleep disorders – insomnia or nightmares
  • Regressive behaviors – bedwetting, wetting pants, nail biting, excessive crying, clinginess
  • Sudden onset of fear of adults or places that were not feared before
  • Suicide attempts (especially among adolescents)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Delinquent behavior
  • Overly aggressive, withdrawn, secretive, depressed, compliant, anxious
  • Age-inappropriate sexual knowledge*
  • Shame*
  • Promiscuous/sexually provocative (in adolescents) or otherwise acting out sexually*
  • Fear of bathrooms and showers*
  • Frequent and overt self-stimulation*
  • Compulsion to cleanliness – feeling dirty, wanting to wash all the time*

Physical Indicators of Sexual Abuse

  • Vaginal or penile discharge
  • Genital or anal bleeding or bruising
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Pregnancy
  • Genital or oral sores
  • Frequent urinary tract infections (uti’s)
  • Sore throats
  • Unexplained genital injuries
  • Semen
  • Itching
  • Torn or stained clothing
  • Pain with urination or bowel movements
  • Foreign bodies in genital or rectal area
  • Physical Indicators of Physical Abuse
  • Bruises
  • Fractures
  • Skin or bone injuries in various stages of healing
  • Burns with unusual patterns – Cigarette burns
  • Scalded feet or buttocks• Head injuries/skull fractures
  • Internal injuries – rupture of stomach, liver, etc.
  • Human bites
  • Injuries to eyes-retinal hemorrhages, black eyes, detached retinas
  • Injuries to ears-bruising, sudden hearing loss
  • Injuries to mouth-chipped or missing teeth, oral trauma from forced feeding
  • Intentional poisoning

Indicators of Neglect

  • Malnutrition
  • Failure to thrive
  • Child is cared for by underage sibling
  • Abandonment
  • Exposure to domestic violence
  • Keeping child out of school
  • Child left unattended for long periods of time
  • Child is improperly dressed for weather
  • Exposure to dangerous items or substance – guns, poison, etc.
  • Failure to seek medical attention
  • Failure to provide clothing, food, shelter.