Child Abuse

Child Abuse Team
Washington County District Attorney's Office has a team of Deputy District Attorneys who are dedicated to prosecuting child abuse and neglect cases in Washington County. They work closely with DHS, CARES Northwest and the various police agencies to investigate and prosecute these cases. The Deputy District Attorneys are also members of the Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Team along with other community partners to develop investigative protocols, identify needed training and help coordinate procedures among partner agencies.

Child Abuse
The child abuse cases that the Washington County District Attorney's Office prosecutes include sexual and physical abuse against children. Physical abuse is injury to a child that is not accidental including head injuries, broken bones and sprains, burns, and internal injuries. Child sexual abuse occurs when an adult, adolescent or older child exploits a child for his or her own sexual gratification. Children are often afraid to talk about physical or sexual abuse inflicted on them for many reasons. The reasons include fear of punishment, thinking they are to blame or that they are bad, that they will get someone they care about in trouble, or the abuser has threatened them if they tell.

Child Neglect
Child neglect is the most common form of abuse. It is failing to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, supervision, or medical care. It also includes exposing a child to illegal activities such as encouraging a child to use drugs or alcohol or exposing a child to parental drug use. Parents or guardians are responsible for providing adequate supervision, care, guidance and protection to children to ensure children are safe from physical or mental harm.

Reporting Child Abuse
If you believe a child is being abused or neglected, you can report abuse to DHS by calling their child abuse reporting hotline at 503-681-6917 or toll free at 1-800-275-8952. You can also report abuse to your local police department, county juvenile department, or Oregon State Police.

Additional information about child abuse and neglect is available through the Oregon Department of Human Services website. You may also read more about the impact of child sexual abuse on your child and your family in our brochure: When Your Child Has Been Sexually Abused.