Are you hurt? Need help?
During an emergency call 911 for help.
If you need someone to talk to, kids and teens can text ChildHelp for 24/7 Support. Text 1-800-422-4453 to talk to a counselor now.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 1-800-273-8255 to talk to someone now.
Report Child Abuse
Anyone can report child abuse. You don't have to be a victim of abuse to report it. Children and teens can report child abuse.
Make a report any time, day or night, by calling the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Protective Services hotline at (855) 444-3911.
Report emergencies by calling 911.
Mandated Reporters can make a report online at the MDHHS Website.
Learn the facts about child sexual abuse so that you can act to protect children. These facts are from the Children's Advocacy Centers of Michigan website: www.CACMI.org
Child sexual abuse can include…
A. sending or showing a pornographic image
B. assault (rape, oral sex, touching genitals)
C. genital exposure
D. ALL OF THE ABOVE
What are the signs of sexual abuse in children?
While everyone’s reaction is unique, trauma can change the way the victim feels about themselves, how they interact with others, and even how they experience the world around them. If you observe any of the following symptoms, take your child to the doctor immediately:
Pain, discoloration, bruising, bleeding, or scabs around the mouth, genital, or anus
Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training
Persistent or recurring pain during urination and bowel movements
Chronic stomach pain
Some kids don’t show noticeable signs of trauma; however, here are some common ways trauma from sexual abuse or assault might show up in young people:
Regression to behaviors that had been outgrown (bedwetting, separation anxiety)
Trying to be perfect or overly compliant
Overall change in mood (sadness, anxiety, anger, aggression)
Change in attitude towards school, sports, or other activities
Fear of certain people or places; running away
Knowledge of or interest in sexual activity beyond what is developmentally expected
Change in eating habits (loss of appetite, gagging)
Trouble sleeping (nightmares or night terrors)
What is the lifelong impact of child abuse?
Studies have shown a strong correlation between child abuse and other adverse childhood experiences and negative, long-term personal health outcomes such as:
(source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Is healing possible?
Human beings have an amazing capacity for healing. Resilience, or the ability to overcome, is not a character trait. It's also not something that some people have and others don’t. Resilience is the human spark inside each of us and is supported in community.
Resilience comes from a belief in yourself and an understanding of your value. It’s nurtured through positive and healthy relationships with family, friends, and mentors. It’s fanned by a sense of meaning and purpose. Resilience is the goal of our work with the kids and families who come through our doors.
As one child in counseling at Small Talk said, "I'm brave, I'm strong, I can do anything."
What about abuse between two children?
Small Talk offers a program that is open to the community called "Healthy Boundaries," where children can learn to treat themselves and others in a safe and appropriate manner. This program has no cost, but not every child is eligible. Email our Clinical Director Lindsey Power to find out more.