In Texas, sexual abuse cases constitute 68% of the total reported cases of abuse. With this alarming statistic, we must do our part, as parents and educators, to protect our children from child predators. One might believe that most children are molested by strangers. This, however, is a myth. In reality, 85-95% of children are molested by a known perpetrator and not a stranger. Typically, the offender has access to your child and has worked to build trust with him/her.
Please partner with us in talking to your kids about the prevention of child and sexual abuse. Our children need to know what appropriate touches are and to recognize when inappropriate behavior is occurring. They CAN SAY NO if someone is touching them inappropriately. Children must understand the abuser could be ANY adult close to him/her and to not be afraid to tell if this type of behavior occurs. Please see the resource links below to provide further information on child and sexual abuse.
Children's Advocacy Centers of Texas, Inc. One with Courage campaign provides information and resources for Texas schools. Free posters, brochures, and banners are available to increase awareness.
DFPS - Preventing Child Abuse
Texas Association Against Sexual Assault has downloadable brochures and toolkits.
Child Welfare Information Gateway: Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
Child Welfare Information Gateway: Sexual Abuse Prevention Programs (Tools, curricula, and programs designed to raise awareness and reduce risk factors related to child abuse from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
Prevent Child Abuse America - A resource packet for child abuse prevention campaigns.
Warning Signs of Child/Sexual Abuse
Signs of child abuse can be subtle, and in many cases, nonexistent. Changes in your child’s routine or new unexplained behaviors are worth a second look.
What to look for:
Changes in behavior
Returning to earlier behaviors
Fear of certain places or people
Changes in eating
Changes to sleeping
Changes in school performance or attendance
Lack of personal care in hygiene
Inappropriate sexual behaviors
Report suspected child abuse in Texas.
Statewide intake is available 24/7: 1-800-252-5400 or www.txabusehotline.org.
How to Respond
- Remain calm.
- Always believe the child.
- Assure the child that they did the right thing in telling.
- Tell the child that they are not to blame for the abuse.
- Do not make promises.
- Let the child tell their story but leave the questioning to the professionals.
- File a report with Child Protective Services within 48 hours.