Child abuse and neglect
Awareness, prevention and reporting
Hotline - call 1-866-ENDHARM (1-866-363-4276), Washington State's toll-free, 24 hour, 7 day-a-week hotline that will connect you directly to the appropriate local office to report suspected child abuse or neglect.
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Abuse or discipline?
Some types of physical actions are clearly abusive. It is never okay for an adult to sexually abuse a child, provide a child with illegal drugs or to burn, starve, beat or choke a child. However, the line between parental and child abuse is not always that clear. Many families strongly believe in spanking as a means of punishment, for example. Other families believe that spanking is a form of child abuse. Most states do not have a law that prohibits spanking but instead rely on their child abuse statutes to determine if an individual case crossed the line between discipline and abuse.
Parental Discipline Most states do not prohibit parents from spanking their children in all circumstances. However, all of the states have statutes that define child abuse. If a parent is accused of child abuse because he or she has struck a child then a judge or jury would need to decide whether the parent’s actions constituted abuse, based on the state law as applied to the facts of the specific case.
The federal government has enacted the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) which provides minimum standards that the states must incorporate into their child abuse statutes. CAPTA requires the definition of child abuse and neglect to include, “Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.” Pursuant to the CAPTA standard, a short spanking is unlikely to constitute child abuse because it does not result in serious physical or emotional harm. However, if the parent repeatedly spanked the child with a closed fist or on a body part that resulted in significant pain then the parent’s action could constitute child abuse depending on the severity of the actions and the state in which the actions occurred. Further, if the parent’s actions resulted in a physical injury then the action could constitute abuse.
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Programs and Services
Klickitat County:Programs for Peaceful Living (offered through Washington Gorge Action Programs)
Programs for Peaceful Living provides Klickitat County residents with Domestic Violence Prevention, Sexual Assault Prevention, and General Crime Victim services. Certified staff are available 24/7 to work with individuals and families that are struggling with the effects of crime through advocacy, counseling, parent support, safety planning, as well as community outreach and education.
- Goldendale: 509-773-6100 or 800-755-1192 x 320
- White Salmon: 509-493-1533 or 800-755-1192 x 334
- Crisis Pager Number: 1-800-352-5541
Hood River, Oregon Helping Hands against Violence 541-386-6603
The Dalles, Oregon: Haven 541-298-4789 or 800-249-4789