Child Abuse Survivor Advocacy Center

Child Abuse

Adults may hesitate to reach out or reporting child abuse out of a fear that they’re wrong, a belief that they can make the abuse stop, or concern about how it will affect the whole family. Failing to address or report child abuse not only worsens and lengthens the abuse experienced by a child, it also cuts children off from resources and support that can help them heal.

When child abuse occurs, it has devastating effects for both the abused child and their family and loved ones. Child abuse covers a wide range of abusive behaviors including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect.

The staff at the Survivor Advocacy Center of the Finger Lakes are here to support children and give them the tools they need to begin healing. We are also here to support you and your family during this critical time.

If you suspect a child you know is experiencing abuse, call our hotline (800) 456-1172 today to talk with someone who can help right away. You may also report abuse by calling the NYS Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-342-3720.

Learn more about our available services by scrolling down.

Call our 24/7 Crisis Hotline today to connect with a trained advocate who can help you and your child.
(800) 456-1172

Could it be Child Abuse?

If you are concerned that a child you know may be experiencing child abuse, look for these red flags and indicators. If you suspect a child is being abused or know a child exhibiting any of the following signs, call our hotline today to speak with someone who can help.

24/7 Crisis Hotline: (800) 456-1172

Common behavioral indicators of child abuse:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • New or worsening problems at school or with peers
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Strong emotions or emotions beyond what the situation would warrant
  • Anger problems, aggression, tantrum, and/or impulsivity
  • A lack of physical and/or emotional boundaries
  • Depression, anxiety, or withdrawal
  • A return to bedwetting, thumb sucking, etc.
  • Fear of a certain or specific person (especially if the child knows they will be alone with that individual)
  • Skipping school, or running away
  • Substance use/abuse
  • Self-harm, eating disorders
  • Attempting suicide
  • Writing or artwork that is unusually sexual or indicates a knowledge of sexual activity unexpected for the child’s age (for guidance on healthy sexual development by age, click here)
  • Excessive sexual curiosity, masturbation, or promiscuity that is not common or expected for the child’s age (for guidance on healthy sexual development by age, click here)
  • Seductive behavior toward adults or peers

Common physical indicators of child abuse:

  • Bruises, cuts, or other physical injuries that are unexplained, excessive, or occur frequently
  • Signs of weight loss or malnutrition
  • Excessively worn/damaged clothing, consistently dirty clothing, or clothing that does not fit properly or is inappropriate/inadequate for the weather
  • Lack of personal hygiene including being unwashed for several days, poor dental hygiene or excessive dental issues, or a lack of grooming
  • Unexplained headaches, stomach aches, vomiting, fainting, or blackouts
  • Bedwetting or soiling (especially if the child had previously grown out of these incidents)
  • Loss or gain of appetite and/or weight
  • Injury, itching, pain, or soreness in the genital or anal area
  • Torn, stained, or bloody underclothes
  • STIs or vaginal discharge
  • Pregnancy

Commonly seen behaviors in adults who are abusing children:

  • A refusal to respect the child-set limits
  • Insisting on hugs, touching, kissing, tickling, etc. even when the child resists
  • Overly interested in the child’s physical or sexual development
  • Insists on uninterrupted time alone with the child
  • Spends most of their spare time with children rather than with peers
  • Buys the child expensive items or gives them money for no reason
  • Frequently walks in on the child in the bathroom or times when the child might be dressing/undressing
  • Asks the child to keep secrets about time they spend together


Ask someone who knows. Talk to someone who cares.

Whether your child is currently being abused, or has experienced abuse in the past, we are here to support you. The Survivor Advocacy Center provides services to survivors of child abuse, no matter their gender identity, race, age, or religious preference.

All of our services are free, confidential, and voluntary.

Support for survivors of Sex Trafficking

Support for Spanish-speaking survivors

  • Our 24/7 Crisis Hotline is always staffed with a Spanish-speaking advocate.
  • The Survivor Advocacy Center’s two full-time Spanish-speaking advocates are available to assist in all other needs.

24/7 Crisis & Support Hotline (800) 456-1172

  • Support & Information for survivors and caregivers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • Whether you want to learn more about your options, or you just need someone to talk to, we’re here. We will believe and support you in every way we can.

Individual Counseling

  • One-on-one counseling for children who have experienced neglect and/or physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
  • Counseling and support for caregivers and loved ones of children who have experienced child abuse.

Support Groups & Individualized Case Management

  • Staff will assist you and your child by helping you build a large and diverse safety net of support.
  • Includes assistance in finding long-term counseling, providing information, and connecting with other supportive services.

Hospital Support

  • Trained staff are available to accompany you and your child at the hospital while you receive treatment, and if you choose to have a sexual assault forensic exam (SAFE) done.
  • When you arrive at the hospital request an advocate for immediate, in-person support 24/7.
  • You can also call our hotline to request an advocate while on your way to the hospital or before you go.

Support during Child Forensic Interviews

  • SAC staff are available to accompany you and your child during forensic interviews to act as an advocate for your child.

Support at Police Stations

  • If a report of abuse is filed, trained staff are available to accompany you at the police station throughout the reporting process.
  • You can call our hotline ahead of time to request an accompaniment, or you can request an advocate upon arrival for in-person support 24/7.

Advocacy during the criminal justice process

  • Information about the criminal justice process
  • Help facilitating communication between you, the courts, the police, and prosecutors/lawyers.
  • Accompaniment to court, police interviews, and visits with your prosecutor.