- County Homepage
- Sheriff's Office
- Reporting Abuse
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call or text 9-1-1.
Abuse is when someone hurts or causes emotional stress to someone else. Abuse can happen to anyone — no matter the person's age, sex, race, religion, or ethnic or cultural background. It can happen in any kind of relationship, like a friendship, romantic relationship, or among family members. Abuse can happen in many ways. Hate crimes directed at people because of their race, religion, abilities, gender, or sexual orientation are also abuse.
Click on the tabs below to learn more.
Abuse comes in many forms:
Abandonment is leaving a person who needs help alone without planning for his or her care.
Emotional abuse, sometimes called psychological abuse, can include saying hurtful words, yelling, threatening, or repeatedly ignoring the person. Keeping that person from seeing close friends and relatives is another form of emotional abuse.
Financial abuse happens when money or belongings are stolen from a person by their caregiver or spouse. It can include forging checks, taking someone else's retirement or Social Security benefits, or using a person's credit cards and bank accounts without their permission. It also includes changing names on a will, bank account, life insurance policy, or title to a house without permission.
Physical abuse happens when someone causes bodily harm by hitting, pushing, or slapping. This may also include restraining an person against his/her will, such as locking them in a room or tying them to furniture.
Neglect occurs when the caregiver does not try to respond to the person's needs. This may include physical, emotional, and social needs, or withholding food, medications, or access to health care.
Online abuse is emotional or sexual abuse that happens in the virtual world.
- Online emotional abuse is any type of online message sent to bully or hurt another person (like an intimidating or threatening message).
- Online sexual abuse is when someone is asked to share inappropriate pictures of themselves, take part in sexual activities via webcam or smartphone, and/or have sexual conversations by text or online chat. Sometimes, the people who do this give or promise to give things to get someone to go along with these activities. The lasting effects of this abuse include images and videos that can be shared long after the abuse stops.
Sexual abuse involves forcing a person to watch or be part of sexual acts.
If a child is in imminent danger, call 9-1-1. To report all other child abuse, contact the CWS 24-Hour Hotline at 707-445-6180 or contact your local law enforcement.
What is Child Abuse?
Child Abuse is abuse of a person who is younger than age 18 or who is not an emancipated minor.
California state law defines child abuse as (1) physical injury inflicted on a child by another person, (2) sexual abuse, or (3) emotional abuse. Child neglect is defined as negligent treatment which threatens the child's health or welfare. The different types of child abuse/neglect can be categorized as follows:
- Sexual abuse is the victimization of a child by sexual activities, including molestation, indecent exposure, fondling, rape, and incest.
- Physical abuse is bodily injury inflicted by other than accidental means on a child, including willful cruelty, unjustifiable punishment, or corporal punishment.
- Emotional abuse is nonphysical mistreatment, resulting in disturbed behavior by the child, such as severe withdrawal or hyperactivity. Emotional abuse includes willfully causing any child to suffer, inflicting mental suffering, or endangering a child's emotional well-being.
- General neglect is the negligent failure of a parent/guardian or caretaker to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, or supervision where no physical injury to the child has occurred.
- Severe neglect refers to those situations of neglect where the child's health is endangered, including severe malnutrition.
- Exploitation means forcing or coercing a child into performing activities that are beyond the child's capabilities or which are illegal or degrading, including sexual exploitation.
If a person is in imminent danger, call 9-1-1. To report all other elder/dependent adult abuse, contact Humboldt County Adult Protective Services at 707-476-2100 or contact your local law enforcement.
What is Elder / Dependent Adult Abuse?
Abuse of an elder or a dependent adult is abuse of:
- Someone 65 years old or older; or
- A dependent adult, who is someone between 18 and 64 that has certain mental or physical disabilities that keep him or her from being able to do normal activities or protect himself or herself.
The law says elder or dependent adult abuse is:
- Physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction (taking the person out of the state against his or her will), or other behavior that causes physical harm, pain, or mental suffering; OR
- Deprivation by a caregiver of things or services that the elder or dependent adult needs to avoid physical harm or mental suffering.
If a person is in imminent danger, call 9-1-1. For confidential assistance, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or text START to 88788, or Humboldt Domestic Violence Services (HDVS) at 707-443-4042, toll free at 1-866-668-6543.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence (also referred to as intimate partner violence (IPV), dating abuse, or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.
Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate. People of any race, age, gender, sexuality, religion, education level, or economic status can be a victim — or perpetrator — of domestic violence. That includes behaviors that physically harm, intimidate, manipulate or control a partner, or otherwise force them to behave in ways they don’t want to, including through physical violence, threats, emotional abuse, or financial control.
Resources for Support
- Humboldt Domestic Violence Services
24-Hour Support Line: (707) 443-6042
- Victim Witness -Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office
- Humboldt County Mental Health Crisis Line
- North Coast Rape Crisis Team
- Youth Service Bureau 24-hr Hotline
(707) 443-CARE (2273)