Child Abuse Prevention Resources

cases of child abuse were investigated
and proved in the state of Illinois in 2017

of these cases were in
Cook County alone

Women at Fourth at Fourth Presbyterian Church urges you to make a difference in the lives of our country’s most precious resource: children. Learn the signs of abuse and how to report it, join an advocacy group, or find out where to get help if you fear for the safety of a child.

Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month
Some Facts | Signs of Child Abuse
| Support for Families | Resources

National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month

Help us recognize National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month. Since 1989, millions of people have joined in displaying and wearing blue bows during the month of April to raise awareness for the observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month. Women at Fourth urges you to make a difference in the lives of our country’s most precious resource. Wear a blue bow, participate in our prayer service, attend a program with some of Chicago’s leading voices in child abuse prevention, tie a bow at Fourth Church, or find out where to get help if you fear for the safety of a child.

For more on the history of the Blue Bows campaign, click here.

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Some Facts

  • Abuse and neglect cause long-term consequences and leave children at greater risk for problems in the future.
  • Boys and girls are equally likely to be abused.
  • Nationwide, 50 percent of abused children are white, 25 percent are African American, and 15 percent are Hispanic.
  • Four out of five victims of abuse are abused by a parent in their own home.
  • The Illinois Child Abuse Hotline averages nearly 1,000 calls every 24 hours.
  • There are four major types of child maltreatment: neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse.
  • If you think abuse is happening, call 800-25-ABUSE (800.252.2873)

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Signs of Child Abuse

Children who are abused may show physical and behavioral warning signs. Pay attention to the treatment of children around you; you may be a child’s only lifeline to safety.

Possible signs of an abused child include
• Nervousness around adults or fear of certain adults
• Reluctance to go home
• Behavioral tendencies to be passive and withdrawn or aggressive
    and disruptive
• Complaints of nightmares or not sleeping well
• Running away from home
• Sexual knowledge or behavior beyond his or her age
• Acting overly mature or overly immature
• Lack of emotional attachment to caregivers
• Delays in physical or emotional development
• Lack of supervision at too young an age

Possible signs of an abusive caretaker include
• Little concern for child’s welfare
• Denial of problems
• Frequent blame, belittling, or insulting of child
• Complaints that the child is a burden
• Dependence upon child for emotional support
• Secretive behavior, isolating child from others

Types of behavior not always recognized as child abuse include
• Constant criticism and rejection
• Threats to withhold love
• Exposure to domestic violence
• Hitting a child even if abuse is not intended
• Exposure to sexualized materials such as pornography
• Disinterest and lack of attention

None of these signs is proof of child abuse but may signal that something is wrong and help is needed.

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State of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
800.252.2873 (800-25-ABUSE)
Staffed for twenty-four-hour service

National Department of Children and Family Services
800.329.5437 (800-329-KIDS)

CHILDHELP: A National Child Abuse Hotline
Operates twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week; offers crisis intervention, information, literature, and referrals

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
800.843.5678 (800-THE LOST)

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Support for Families

Parents Care and Share of Illinois
Weekly parent support groups to help families reduce stress and lower the likelihood of abuse or neglect

Boys and Girls Town National Hotline
Offers information, resources, and referrals

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chicago
Mentoring and activity programs for children in the Chicago area

Children’s Advocacy Center of North and Northwest Cook County
Coordinates the investigations of child abuse allegations in 38 communities throughout North and Northwest suburbs, also provides professional counseling, court, medical and legal advocacy, community referrals, and other support services to help families.

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If you would like additional information from local and national resources, please call these organizations or visit their websites.

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
Timely information about child protection, foster care, adoption, day care, and other issues

Prevent Child Abuse Illinois
Aimed at preventing cruelty to children and increasing public awareness

Voices for Illinois Children—Advocacy
Link to resources, referrals, and agencies to support children

LaRabida Children’s Hospital
Services for children with illness, disability, and abuse

CASA—Court Appointed Special Advocates of Cook County
Promotes and supports quality volunteer representation for children

Erie Neighborhood House
Promotes children’s growth through a variety of activities and partners with parents for the well-being of each child

Metropolitan Family Services
A comprehensive range of programs and services that help families through difficult times

Children's Home + Aid
A range of programs and services for families; advocacy for changes in public policy

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If you know of additional resources to add to this list, please contact Anne Ellis (312.573.3369).