Many Houstonians Aren't Reporting Suspected Child Abuse

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Here’s some cheerful news for you: Only eight percent of Houstonians who suspect someone of abusing a child actually contact authorities, according to a survey released today.

The awkwardly titled “Hope Shining Houston Bystanders and Child Abuse Survey,” commissioned by domestic violence services agency Safe Horizon, asserts that “a shocking number of Houston residents are unwilling and afraid to report suspected child abuse.” The study was conducted by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, a marketing firm with offices in New York and Los Angeles.

The report claims that:

- “When actually confronted with suspected child abuse, 17 percent of Houston residents said they did nothing at all or were not sure what to do”

- 55 percent of Houstonians “incorrectly believe that physical evidence of abuse can be found in the majority of child abuse cases or were not sure”

- 42 percent do not know that people can report suspected child abuse anonymously

- 23 percent of Houstonians “say they have been in situations where they suspected a child has been a victim of child abuse, but didn’t know what to do”

Houston’s Children’s Assessment Center, which provides services for sexually abused children, will use this information as part of a campaign to spread awareness of how the public should react when faced with suspected child abuse, according to a press release. – Craig Malisow

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.