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Recognizing Abuse

Abuse Types

What is Child Abuse?

Child abuse is harm or threatened harm to a child's health or welfare which can occur through non-accidental physical or mental injury; sexual abuse or attempted sexual abuse; sexual exploitation or attempted sexual exploitation.

What is Child Neglect?

Negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child including the failure to provide adequate food, medical treatment, clothing, or shelter.

Exception: A parent or guardian legitimately practicing his religious beliefs and does not provide medical treatment for a child. This does not preclude a court from ordering the medical services to be provided where the child's health requires it.

Types of Abuse

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Sexual
  • Neglect

Physical Abuse

Occurs when a child's body is injured as a result of hitting, kicking, shaking, burning, or other show of force.

Emotional Abuse

  • Results from any form of abuse or neglect
  • Can be associated with verbal abuse, which can harm a child’s self-worth or emotional well-being

Sexual Abuse

Any sexual activity that a child cannot comprehend or consent to includes:

  • Fondling
  • Oral-genital contact
  • Genital and anal intercourse
  • Exhibitionism
  • Voyeurism
  • Exposure to pornography


  • Physical neglect -- Failing to provide food, clothing, shelter, or other physical necessities
  • Emotional neglect -- Failing to provide love, comfort, or affection
  • Medical neglect -- Failing to provide needed medical care

Report Abuse

Reporting suspected abuse is one of the most important steps you can take to protect children. If you suspect abuse, call one of the numbers listed on this page.

If the child is in immediate danger, CALL 911.

Chilton County:
Chilton County Department of Human Resources (DHR) AT 205-258-4900 . Ask to speak with the child abuse/neglect intake worker.FOR AFTER HOURS EMERGENCY, (205) 755-1120 (Police Dispatch).

Autauga County:

Elmore County:

Indicators of Abuse

Physical Abuse Red Flags

Physical Neglect Red Flags

Sexual Abuse Red Flags