Child abuse: the 3 help numbers to register

To fight against child abuse, the government hammers the three emergency numbers to contact by the victims, or the witnesses of cases of violence. Easy to remember numbers.

  Child Abuse: The 3 Numbers'aide à enregistrer

Child abuse is unfortunately not a rare or isolated phenomenon. It is even a 'public health problem', and an emergency for the government to deal with. How ? By encouraging victims to speak out, through three dedicated numbers. Call lines specially designed to help them, or provide concrete answers to witnesses of proven violence or who have strong suspicions, and who do not know how to react. Because the mistake, all too often made, is to refer to the parents of the alleged victim, who in most cases are at the very origin of this mistreatment. Even newborns are affected: ' It is in the first ages of life that children are most exposed to intra-family violence. ', knowing that on average in France, a child dies every five days under the blows of his parents. In fact, everyone must be aware of it, feel concerned, and know these three very specific numbers:

  • the 119 , free national number, dedicated to the prevention and protection of children in danger or at risk of being (reachable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
  • the 3018 , number for child victims of cyberbullying
  • the 3020 , number for children who are victims of school bullying

Child abuse in numbers

The latest known figures on child abuse are chilling and increasingly alarming. In France, each year, more 50,000 complaints of physical violence against a child are filed , and 20,000 for sexual assault. More half of the victims are less than a year old and most present the shaken baby syndrome .

Moreover, according to the last report of the Civil Society on the subject of sexual violence against minors, in 81% of cases the aggressor is a member of the victim's family. Finally, parental neglect also has consequences for the health of children, their living conditions and access to education. According to UNICEF, one in five children , or nearly 3 million children, live below the poverty line in our country .

What are the forms of child abuse?

It exists several types of child abuse. According to the Decentralized Observatory of Social Action, 'The abused child is one who is the victim of physical violence, mental cruelty, sexual assault , gross negligence having serious consequences on his physical and psychological development '. The High Authority for Health also recalls that 'Abuse is defined as the failure to respect children's basic rights and needs (health; safety; morals; education; physical, emotional, intellectual and social development)'. In summary, there are often 4 types of abuse:

  • Physical violence (injuries, beatings, jostling, torture, etc.)
  • Verbal, psychological and moral violence (insults, humiliations, denigrations, exclusion, etc.)
  • sexual violence
  • Neglect of basic needs (food, hygiene, care, medicine etc)

How to deal with a situation of child abuse?

Faced with this mistreatment, most people do not know how to react and do not talk about it to those around them. A study published by The Blue Child Association show that '80% of French people say they did not talk about the abuse experienced at the time of the events' . According to figures from the association dating from 2015, among the 45% of French people who suspect a case of abuse in their entourage, 39% would go directly to the parents of the child, in other words to the person likely to be the victim. 'aggressor. The good reflex to have in case of suspicion is first of all to observe the child and talk to other people around him (apart from the parents) to compare your impressions. If you are close to the child, let him know that he can confide in you if he wants or needs to talk and that you can help him. You can also dial the 119 Hello Abused Childhood if you want to discuss it with competent people who will then guide you on what to do depending on the situation.

Who to contact in case of child abuse?

  • The 119 is the National Service of Telephone reception for children in danger (SNATED). This is a toll-free number that allows you to report a case of child abuse and get answers to your questions in case of suspicion, thanks to fifty childhood professionals. If the latter identify a dangerous situation, a report is then sent to the Unit for collecting worrying information from the department who will then follow up on the file and can intervene if necessary.
  • You can also contact the social services in your city in order to prevent a case of child abuse, or in case of danger, contact the police. Be careful, however, not to discuss it directly with the parents: in the majority of cases, this is not the right thing to do! Indeed, you are talking to the person you suspect the most. Logically, parents will never admit to being responsible for what you say, so it is better to contact early childhood professionals.
  • The Childhood and Sharing Association also offers a free and anonymous number, 0800 05 1234. This listening, support, advice and guidance line is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., for minor victims and witnesses of violence to children.

How to make an anonymous denunciation to social services?

To report facts of child abuse, you can make an anonymous report, especially if you do not want to get in trouble, which may be understandable. For it, contact 119 . This number is free and confidential. The call can be anonymous and it will be invisible on phone records.

AlerterPourSauve: an app against child abuse

To allow victims to break their silence and encourage relatives to come to their aid, the Blue Child is launching the app The objective: to allow any abused child or a witness - thanks to a geolocation system - to find as close to home and as quickly as possible a contact person or an institution that can help him. The #AlerterPourSauver app also offers an information space on mistreatment and ways to act depending on whether you are a victim, a witness or a healthcare professional.

What are the signs of child abuse?

It is not easy to recognize a case of child abuse , the latter being often traumatized, he keeps the secret for fear of reprisals. He may also be ashamed and sometimes even feel guilty because he may think he is responsible for the violence suffered.

  • To identify signs of physical abuse , it is important to check both sign them perceptible (bruises, blows, burns, injuries, lacerations, thinness...) as well as behavioral disorders (distrust, passivity or aggressiveness, anxiety, permanent sadness...).
  • Ditto in the event of sexual violence . In his words or through his drawings, the child can reveal behaviors of a sexual nature. In addition, other symptoms should alert such as pain or itching located on the genitals , attention difficulties, poor relationships with peers and sexually charged speech.
  • Finally, lack of care and neglect in a child are another form of abuse. In case of constant hunger, poor hygiene, unsuitable clothing or lack of medical care... the child may then have a change in behavior: fatigue and drowsiness, difficulty in remaining attentive, theft of food, falling of the school results...
What about professionals? According to the latest report from the General Inspectorate of Social Affairs (IGAS), the protection of children has flaws. 'More than half of the children involved in the study had suffered serious and repeated violence before their death and, often, signs of violence had been identified by professionals. ', specifies the survey. Which means that many children could have been saved if the visible warning signs had been the subject of a synthesis. The General Inspectorate of Social Affairs therefore recommends to better organize the exchange of information within each medico-social service, national education, police or justice and between these services.

How to fight child abuse?

In a previous report, the IGAS proposed a series of recommendations aimed at better identifying and preventing situations that represent a danger for the child:

- Must practice a forensic autopsy on all children under the age of one who died of unexplained deaths.

- The mise en place d'un child's digital health record , and a school medical examination (without the presence of the parents)

- A enhanced monitoring of absenteeism students

-The analyzes in more detail the family situations by the social services . ' Domestic violence, addictions of all kinds and significant personality disorders are data that must arouse the greatest vigilance among all child protection actors.

- Reinforcement of actions to prepare for parenthood , especially for fathers.

- Support for women who take contraception in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies and child abuse.