I am a teacher/child care
worker. What can I do?
Do you suspect or know that a child in your class
is living in a violent home?
If so, there are several things you can do to provide
support to that child.
Keep in mind that you may be the first person the
child has talked with about their home situation; assuring them
that abuse is not okay and that they are doing the right thing by
talking with you is the extremely important. Since a large percentage
of homes with spousal abuse also contain child abuse, it is essential
that you assess the child for this.
Ask them if they have ever been hurt by either parent
or caretaker, especially since it is sometimes the case that the
victim of partner abuse is the perpetrator of child abuse. As is
the law in the state of Texas, you are required to report any suspicion
or knowledge of child abuse at 1-800-252-5400 (Child Protective
If the child indicates that they are not being physically
hurt but have witnessed the abuse and may be at risk of abuse themselves
(either directly or as a result of the partner violence) you should
also report this to Child Protective Services.
Be aware that it may not be appropriate to contact
the parent of a child who has divulged information about violence
in their home.
Often,, the victimized parent may be embarrassed
and the family may follow a strict code of secrecy.
You do not want to endanger the child or the victimized
parent by addressing the issue directly.
If you are unsure or just have questions do not hesitate
to contact our office or that of the other resources listed here
for further support.
Legal Services Links:
County Attorney's Office
County District Attorney's Office
Legal Aid of Central Texas
Social Services Links:
SafePlace: Domestic Violence
and Sexual Assault Survival Center
Austin Child Guidance
Violence Hotlines and Resources
National Domestic Violence
Violence Against Women
Agaianst Men and Women
Family Violence Awareness
on Child Abuse and Neglect Information
Child Abuse America
Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect