What is Child Abuse?
Child abuse is mental, emotional, physical or sexual injury to a child or failure to prevent such an injury. It includes neglect, the failure to provide a child with food, clothing, shelter and/or medical care, as well as leaving a child in a situation where the child is at risk or harm.
Child abuse is a crime that thrives in secrecy because it is often times difficult to talk about. That’s why conversation—openly discussing this issue—is the most effective tool we have to eradicate child abuse.
Signs of child abuse can be subtle, and in many cases, nonexistent. Changes in a child’s routine or new unexplained behaviors are worth a second look. A few signs to look for include unexplained injuries, changes in behavior, changes in eating or sleeping, changes in school performance or attendance, and fear of certain places or people.
Child Abuse Articles
Survivor Story – The Scars That Don’t Show
The following is the anonymous, personal story shared by a survivor of childhood emotional abuse and the response from one of HCWC’s Children’s Counselors. HCWC currently employs 8 professional counselors that specialize in working with children and teens across our programs. "Having a narcissistic parent can be very rough; especially when you don’t know how to explain your situation as [...]
Helping Children Process Trauma
As a society we are increasingly exposed to tragic and traumatic events, and unfortunately our children often suffer as a result. Trauma comes in many shapes and sizes. Witnessing violence or an accident. Experiencing violence or abuse. Encountering a man-made or natural disaster. These are all examples of trauma. If you are aware your child has been a part of any of these situations, here [...]
Demystifying Forensic Exams
Sexual Assault Forensic Exams (SAFEs), sometimes called “rape kits”, are exams on survivors of sexual violence conducted by a specially trained nurse or physician, usually to gather any evidence of the crime that might be present. Not every assault is going to have physical evidence present, but there are other very important benefits to have a SAFE, whether it occurred less than five days ago [...]
It Takes a Village: The Importance of a Coordinated Community Response to Child Abuse
Child Abuse including sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect impacts children and youth in our communities every day. Locally, the Department of Family and Protective Services reported 363 confirmed cases of child abuse in Hays County in 2022 (Locally, DFPS reported 119 confirmed cases of child abuse in Caldwell County in 2022). As a community everyone plays a role in ensuring children who [...]
Download Our 2023 Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month Take Action! Toolkit
April is Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month, a time for communities to come together to build caring connections, supportive environments, and positive experiences for all children. Though this is important year-round, April gives us the opportunity to shine a light on child abuse and inspire conversations about how to prevent it.Here are two easy ways to get started with Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month!Participate [...]
How Does Violence Affect a Community?
So, What is Violence? Violence is any behavior that has the intent of hurting someone. Violence is stressful on our bodies. Chronic stress increases the chances of heart diseases, mental health issues, and increases the engagement of risky behaviors like alcohol and drug abuse. The health of a community can be affected by violent encounters because you do not need to have a personal connection [...]
Why Children May Not Disclose Abuse
Roxanne’s House is HCWC’s Children’s Advocacy Center in San Marcos, TX. It is a child-friendly facility with trained staff specializing in child abuse issues including licensed counselors, forensic interviewers, and advocates. The purpose of Roxanne’s House is to assist children in healing after abuse. Our forensic interviewers have the privilege to be trusted with listening to children tell their stories of being sexually abused, sometimes [...]
Download Our 2022 Child Abuse Prevention Month Take Action! Toolkit
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time for communities to come together to build caring connections, supportive environments, and positive experiences for all children. Though this is important year-round, April gives us the opportunity to shine a light on child abuse and inspire conversations about how to prevent it. via GIPHY Here are two easy ways to get [...]
BOOK READING: My Body Belongs to Me from My Head to My Toes
HCWC Children's Counselor Heidi Reddin reads aloud the children's book My Body Belongs to Me from My Head to My Toes, by Pro Familia. This book discusses body safety and the importance of body autonomy for children. Buy on Amazon
Prevention is Possible!
Sexual assault and child abuse are not just “big city” problems. We must acknowledge that these issues happen in our community more often than we would like to think. Therefore, we should focus on preventing sexual assault and child abuse before it happens. Changing social norms, teaching skills, empowering youth, and creating safe environments can help reduce violence in our communities.We all have a role to [...]