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.
- Call 1-800-649-5285 — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
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)
- In 2010, the Vermont Department of Children and Families received 15,379 calls about suspected child abuse and neglect, an increase of 6.1% over 2009. These reports resulted in 2,510 child abuse investigations and 626 substantiated cases of child abuse.
- 15% of Vermont adults report that before the age of 18, a parent or adult in their home ever hit, beat, kick, or physically hurt them in any way, at least once.
- 11% of Vermonters reported abuse as children more than once.
- 34% of Vermont adults report that before the age of 18, a parent or adult in their home swore at them, insulted them, or put them down.