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Child & Elder Abuse

Elder abuse and child abuse and neglect – both physical and psychological – assume a wide range of presentations and can have numerous lasting effects on a victim.

Child Abuse

It is the purpose of the Fargo Police Department to protect the health and welfare of children by encouraging the reporting of children who are known to be or suspected of being abused or neglected. Be an advocate for children by knowing the signs of abuse and reporting child abuse. Remember, you are reporting the suspicion of child abuse – even if you aren’t sure, it’s better to let authorities check it out. You might save a child’s life!

When you have concerns about a child’s well-being, the indicators listed below may help guide you in your thought process. Many of these “symptoms” or “signs” could be caused by things other than abuse or neglect. Generally, these indicators do indicate that a child’s safety may be at risk and, at the very least, the situation should be assessed by a professional who is able to determine the causes of these symptoms and offer the help and assistance necessary to reduce the risk to a child

Additional Child Resources:

North Dakota Child Protection Program provides information about programs offered by the state of North Dakota and the Child Protection Program.

North Dakota Century Code: Child Abuse and Neglect provides the laws of North Dakota in reference to abuse and neglect.

Red River Children's Advocacy Center provides information about what the center does, and provides information for families regarding crimes against children.

Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is an intentional act or failure to act that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult. An older adult is someone age 60 or older. The abuse occurs at the hands of the caregiver or a person the elder trusts. If you are an elder who is being abused, neglected, or exploited, tell at least one person. Tell your doctor, a friend, or a family member whom you trust. If you see an older adult being abused or neglected, don’t hesitate to report the situation. Don’t assume that someone else will take care of it or that the person being abused is capable of getting help if he or she really needs it. Many seniors don't report the abuse they face even if they’re able. Some fear retaliation from the abuser, while others believe that if they turn in their abusers, no one else will take care of them. When the caregivers are their children, they may be ashamed that their children are behaving abusively or blame themselves: “If I’d been a better parent when they were younger, this wouldn’t be happening.” Or they just may not want children they love to get into trouble with the law.

Report Abuse and Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult

If you have a concern about someone who you feel might be a vulnerable adult, you are encouraged to visit the North Dakota Department of Human Services Reporting Abuse and Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult website.

Additional Elder Resources:

North Dakota Department of Human Service: Adults and Aging Services