The eradication of child abuse begins with building informed, empowered communities with the courage to talk openly about this difficult issue. Child abuse — particularly child sexual abuse — has historically been a crime of secrecy. As high-profile cases capture media attention, social outrage continues to drive the conversation out of the shadows. Open conversation is the most effective tool we have to eradicate child abuse.

Be the One With Courage who combats the secrecy that enables child abuse.

Start the dialogue. Inspire others to talk openly.

Recognize and report suspected abuse.

“What can I do to be One with Courage?”

Follow the Link to find out more!

Reporting Child Abuse

In the State of Texas, law requires that ANYONE “having cause to believe that a child’s physical, mental health or welfare has been or may be adversely affected by abuse or neglect” MUST report the cause immediately.  Failure to report child abuse is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days and/or a fine of up to $2000. – Texas Family Code, Chapter 261

You can make a report by calling 1-800-252-5400

or you can make a report on-line at

If you feel that a child is in immediate danger, call 911.

The signs and symptoms of child abuse are not always obvious especially in cases of child sexual abuse.  Often children have been threatened or confused by their abuser not to disclose the abuse.  The guidelines listed below are general signs and symptoms and if you notice these in your child you should ask them if anything has happened.


New Fears An abused child or teenager may develop new fears of situations, places, or people. They may become excessively shy, anxious, scared or withdrawn.

Anger/Hostility If a child or teen is not allowed or able to express anger towards the abuser, they may take their anger out on others or against themselves.

Inappropriate Sexual Behaviors A child may act out sexually. They may show an unusual interest in other people’s or animal’s genitals, or masturbate excessively. They may try to express affection in an inappropriate way, such as fondling private parts. Teens may participate in risky sexual behavior and make inappropriate advances in public.

Sleeping and Eating Problems A child or teen may have problems sleeping, nightmares, sudden loss or gain in appetite. Children may regress in their development.  A child might return to younger, more babyish behavior such as wetting the bed or thumb sucking.

School Problems A child or teen may have difficulty concentrating which can affect school performance. A change in grades or behavior at school is not uncommon.

Loss of Boundaries A child or teen may be overly friendly and attached to total strangers, they may tolerate abuse from other children, they may become excessively isolated and withdrawn, or they may become overly obedient.

Self-Destructive Acts A child or teen may feel such guilt and shame from the abuse that they may take their feelings out by hurting themselves. This may involve hitting or cutting themselves, using drugs and/or alcohol or even a suicide attempt. As teens that were abused as children mature, it is common for issues of abuse to resurface requiring additional or new services.

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