Child Abuse Resources

If you are in immediate danger, call 911. To report suspected child abuse call (800) 252-2873.

YWCA McLean County knows that children need to be cared for, loved, and respected in order to create the best foundations possible for their lives as adults and for the future of humanity. While this may sound like a universal truth to most, some parents don't know, don't understand, or don't care how important the early stages in life are for development, mental health, and establishing lifelong behaviors. Many adverse affects manifest in individuals who were abused or neglected as children according to the CDC. Often mental health disorders, addictions, and even suicide attempts and fatalities have strong links to cases of child abuse.

Child abuse can apply to anyone under the age of 18 who has been mistreated by a parent or guardian, romantic partner, immediate relative, babysitter or daycare worker, or coach, religious leader, teacher, or any other non-related person who has been made responsible for the child in some way. This abuse can be physical, mental, sexual, or neglectful. Many professions that involve working with children or the public in any way fall under the category of mandated reporters. This means that if they suspect that a child is being abused, they must legally report it to the child abuse hotline at (800) 252-2873. Teachers, law enforcement, doctors, and many more are considered mandated reporters. To find out if you are a mandated reporter, check here.

As much as 70% of child abuse goes unreported.

What to Look for in Children
  • Disclosing that they have been abused or neglected
  • Passiveness, withdrawal
  • No medical help for something already brought to the parents' attention
  • Lacks adult supervision
  • Spends more time at school than necessary because they don't want to go home
  • Reluctance to be around a specific person
  • Unexplained injuries and bruises
  • Visible, fading bruises after school absence
  • Seems frightened of parents
  • Shrinks at the approach of adults
  • Abuses animals or pets
  • Frequent absences
  • Begs or steals food or money
  • Consistently unhygienic or dirty
  • Inappropriate clothing for the weather
  • Abuses alcohol or drugs
  • Says there's no one home to care for them
  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Refuses to change for gym or participate
  • Nightmares or bed wetting
  • Sudden change in appetite
  • Bizarre, sophisticated, or unusual sexual knowledge or behavior
  • Pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease under the age of 14
  • Runaways
  • Attaches too quickly to strangers
  • Shows extremes in behavior
  • Either inappropriately adult or inappropriately infantile
  • Delayed physical or emotional development
  • Has attempted suicide
  • Lack of attachment to the parent
What to Look for in Parents
  • Denying or blaming the child for problems in school or at home
  • Asks caregivers to use harsh physical discipline if the child misbehaves
  • Sees child as entirely bad, worthless, or burdensome
  • Demands physical or academic performances that cannot be achieved
  • Looks primarily to the child for care, attention, and satisfaction of the parent's emotional needs
  • Shows little concern for the child
  • Offers conflicting or unconvincing explanation for child's injuries
  • Describes the child as "evil" or something similarly negative
  • Uses harsh physical discipline
  • Was abused as a child
  • History of abusing animals
  • Apparent indifference to child
  • Apathy
  • Behaves irrationally or in a bizarre manner
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Severely limiting the child's contact with other children
  • Secretive and isolated
  • Jealous or controlling with family members
What to Do

Call 911 for children in immediate danger, then:
24 Hour Child Abuse Hotline
      (800) 252-2873
      TTY (800) 358-5117
ABC Counseling for Family Services or Youth
      (309) 451-9495
Children's Advocacy Center for McLean County
      (309) 888-5656
Children's Hospital of Illinois Mental Health Resource
      (309) 624-9781
Chestnut Mental Health/Children and Youth Services
      (888) 924-3786
Crisis Nursery open 24/7, 365
      (309) 834-5260
      *87% of parents stated the crisis nursery prevented abuse/neglect
Healthy Families Illinois Outreach Program
Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Council
      (217) 524-4745
 Fussy Baby Network
      (888) 431-BABY
NCADV Resources for Victims of Abuse
      (309) 827-4005