Hearing that any child in any state or nation has been abused is heart wrenching, let alone knowing it is happening in your own backyard. Sadly the child abuse statistics in Florida are alarming, often not even occurring at home. Child abuse can occur by daycare workers, teachers, parents, other relatives, church leaders, community organization leaders, as well as from other children. Child abuse can include physical abuse, sexual abuse, or verbal abuse.

When child abuse in Florida occurs, it can affect a child for the rest of his or her life, causing emotional behavioral problems, depression, social anxiety, poor school performance, as well as many other negative affects that can last a lifetime.

The Truth About South Florida Child Abuse Statistics

In the state of Florida, the Children’s Home Society of Florida received 220,354 calls in 2009 on its Child Abuse Hotline, which was about a 33% increase from 2008.

In Broward County alone, there are anywhere from 13,000 to 20,000 annual calls to the state’s child abuse hotline, reporting claims of child abuse. When calls of this nature come in, investigations have to be conducted to determine if the tip is correct. In 2010, officials removed an estimated 2.3 per 1,000 children out of abusive environments in Broward County alone.

What Parents Can Do About It

Parents should know the signs of child abuse to watch out for. Signs could include physical symptoms to behavioral changes. In physical abuse situations, signs could include unusual cuts, bruises and broken bones. In sexual and verbal abuse situations, emotional signs could include social anxiety, depression, not wanting to attend an organization they used to enjoy, constant excuses of not wanting to go somewhere, and regressive behaviors.

If you notice any of the above mentioned symptoms, ask your child about it. It is helpful to be in constant communication with your children.

Once you are aware of child abuse, reporting it to the proper authorities is essential. You will also need to get your child into counseling as soon as possible, and hire a skilled Florida child abuse attorney to pursue a claim against the abuser.

If your child has been a victim of child abuse in Broward County, please call the Law Office of David Benenfeld at [number type=”2″] or [number type=”1″] today to speak with a skilled South Florida child abuse attorney. We will provide you with a free legal consultation and help you through this extremely difficult time in your family’s life.