Any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent, caregiver, or another person in a custodial role that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child under the age of 18, is known as child abuse and neglect. This is a serious public health problem with far-reaching consequences for the youngest and most vulnerable members of society. This adverse childhood experience can have long-term impacts on health, opportunity, and well-being. 

Nationally in 2022, over three million investigations of child abuse were carried out with response at a rate of 42.2 children per 1000 in the population. Children in the first year of life are 15% of all victims and 28% of child maltreatment cases are under the age of 2. 

When a child is being excessively withdrawn, fearful, or anxious, or its behavior is extremely compliant or aggressive, there can be signs that a child is being abused or neglected. Child abuse and neglect are preventable. We need to ensure that children in our families and communities have safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments. Recognizing the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect is an important matter. Learn more about the facts, risk and protective factors, prevention strategies, and other resources here. 

If you suspect that a child has been harmed or is at risk of being harmed by abuse or neglect, report it online at In an emergency, call the 24 -hour Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-25-ABUSE (800-252-2873). If you believe a child is in immediate danger of harm, call 911 first. Protecting children is a responsibility we all share. If you would like to talk to someone in our St. John Neumann Domestic Abuse Ministry call: 630.480.6561. “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me” – Mathew 18:5 

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