Understanding Child Abuse in Vermont

What is Child Abuse?

According to Vermont law: An “abused or neglected child” is a child whose physical health, psychological growth, and development or welfare is harmed or is at substantial risk of harm by the acts or omissions of his or her parent or other person responsible for the child's welfare. An “abused or neglected child” can also mean a child who is sexually abused or at substantial risk of sexual abuse by any person.

If you suspect that a child is being abused or neglected, report it. Your call could protect a child, get help for a family, and may even save a child’s life.

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Why is Child Abuse a Public Health Problem?

Child maltreatment has a negative effect on health. Abused children often suffer physical injuries including cuts, bruises, burns, and broken bones. In addition, maltreatment causes stress that can disrupt early brain development. Extreme stress can harm the development of the nervous and immune systems. As a result, children who are abused or neglected are at higher risk for health problems as adults. These problems include alcoholism, depression, drug abuse, eating disorders, obesity, high-risk sexual behaviors, smoking, suicide, and certain chronic diseases. (Source: CDC)

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Vermont Data

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