Suspect Abuse?

You have the ability to make a difference. Your voice and actions matter. You are not being a nosy neighbor. You are not overreacting. Your action may save a child’s life. Anyone who suspects that a child is being abused is required by law to report the abuse.

Consider these facts: Statistics show that 1 in 10 children are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. What’s worse, only a third of these crimes are ever reported.

Look for the Signs

There are often certain recognizable physical and behavioral signals of child abuse or neglect:

  • Nightmares, sleep problems, extreme fears without an obvious explanation;
  • Sudden or unexplained personality changes;
  • An older child behaving like a younger child (for example, bedwetting or thumb sucking);
  • Develops fear of certain places or resists being alone with an adult or young person for unknown causes;
  • Shows resistance to routine bathing or removing clothes even in appropriate situations;
  • Play, writing, drawings or dreams of sexual or frightening images;
  • Refuses to talk about a secret he or she has with an adult or older child;
  • Stomach aches or illness, often with no identifiable reason;
  • Uses new or adult words for body parts;
  • Engages in adult-like sexual activities with toys, objects or other children;
  • Develops special relationship with older friends that may include unexplained money, gifts or privileges;
  • Develops physical symptoms such as unexplained soreness, pain or bruises around genitalia or mouth.

Sourced from: Stop It Now!

State Resources

Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky
Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky is a statewide organization with the sole mission of preventing the abuse and neglect of Kentucky’s children. Through the provision of services such as parent education and support, training, and awareness resources, PCAK strives to enhance the community’s capacity to strengthen families. Through community involvement, public education and advocacy, PCAK empowers the community to become involved with this mission. PCAK also has a variety of printed materials, and printer friendly resources, such as a brochure on “What Everyone Should Know About Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect.”

Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs
The Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc. (KASAP) serves as the statewide coalition of Kentucky’s 13 Rape Crisis Centers. KASAP is involved on the state and local level by co-hosting an annual conference, offering technical assistance and training opportunities, publishing many works on sexual assault, and informing best-practices for services. KASAP serves as a resource in Kentucky for information and services related to sexual assault.

National Resources


The National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse & Exploitation
The National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse & Exploitation’s mission is a unified effort to promote the healthy development of children & youth; and end their sexual abuse and exploitation.

Joyful Heart Foundation
The mission of the Joyful Heart Foundation is to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, and to shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues. All activities are conducted with the underlying spirit of collaboration, supporting and affirming existing services for survivors and efforts to end violence and abuse. ​​​​​

What to Do

If you believe a child is abused or neglected, call the Child Protection Hot Line number below or the Protection and Permanency office in your county.

The statewide Child Abuse Report Hotline is at 1-800-752-6200. If a child is in imminent danger call your local or state police. For information regarding reporting standards and investigation protocol, please review the Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect Booklet.

Suspect Abuse?