What is child abuse?

Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver, whether through action or failing to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm or risk of serious harm to a child. There are many forms of child maltreatment, including:

  • Neglect

  • Physical Abuse

  • Sexual Abuse

  • Exploitation

  • ​Emotional Abuse





What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is forced or coerced sexual contact without consent – the presence of a clear yes, not the absence of a no. Sexual assault is a crime motivated by a need to control, humiliate, dominate and harm. It can take the form of:

  • Rape

  • Incest

  • Child Sexual Abuse/Molestation

  • Oral sex

  • Harassment

  • Exposing/flashing

  • Forcing a person to pose for sexual pictures

  • Fondling or unwanted sexual touching above and under clothing

  • Force which may include but is not limited to:

    • Use or display of a weapon

    • Physical battering

    • Immobilization of the victim





What is domestic violence?

Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Some signs of an abusive relationship include:

  • Exerting strict control (financial, social and/or appearance).

  • Needing constant contact including excessive texts and calls.

  • Emotional abuse including insulting a partner in front of other people.

  • Extreme jealousy.

  • Showing fear around a partner.

  • Isolation from family and friends.

  • Frequent canceling of plans at the last minute.

  • Unexplained injuries or explanations that don’t quite add up.

Talking about these issues openly will help end the shame and stigma that domestic violence survivors are burdened with.





Make sure children know:

  • Never to chat with someone they do not know, or arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone who contacts them through an app or online service, even if they claim to be another youth or friend of a friend.
  • Never to give out identifying information such as name, home address, neighborhood, phone number, school information, or extracurricular organizations and activities.
  • Never to post public photos of themselves, send photos to someone they do not know, or send explicit/ inappropriate photos to a friend or significant other.
  • Never to download pictures from someone they do not know, as there is a good chance they could be sexually explicit.
  • Never to respond to messages or posts that are suggestive, obscene, bullying, or harassing.




Each year, an estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness, of which 700,000 are unaccompanied minors, meaning they are not part of a family or accompanied by a parent or guardian. On any given night, approximately 41,000 unaccompanied youth ages 13-25 experience homelessness.


The University of Chicago also found that:

  • One in 10 young adults ages 18-25, and at least one in 30 adolescents ages 13-17, experience some form of homelessness unaccompanied by a parent or guardian over the course of a year.
  • 29% of homeless youth report having substance misuse problems.
  • 69% of homeless youth report mental health problems.
  • 33% had once been part of the foster care system.
  • 50% of homeless youth have been in the juvenile justice system, in jail or detention.
  • 27% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth who are homeless reported exchanging sex for basic needs compared to 9% of non-LGBTQ youth who reported having to exchange sex for basic needs.
  • 62% of LGBTQ youth report being physically harmed while experiencing homelessness while 47% of non-LGBTQ youth reported being physically harmed while homeless.
  • The lack of a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED) is the number one correlate for elevated risk of youth homelessness.




What is human trafficking?


Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide – including right here in the United States. It can happen in any community and victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality. Traffickers might use violence, manipulation, or false promises of well-paying jobs or romantic relationships to lure victims into trafficking situations.


Language barriers, fear of their traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement frequently keep victims from seeking help, making human trafficking a hidden crime.


Many myths and misconceptions exist. Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life. Not all indicators listed are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking.


The safety of the public as well as the victim is paramount. Do not attempt to confront a suspected trafficker directly or alert a victim to any suspicions. It is up to law enforcement to investigate suspected cases of human trafficking.