WHAT TO DO WHEN REPORTING
Report any suspicion of child abuse
. If it is in the family
, report it to the nearest child protective services
office which is often the Child Welfare office in the Department of Human Services. You will find Hot Line numbers below as well as websites and toll-free numbers for each state. Many hotlines are staffed 24 hours a day so that you are able to receive counseling and other services.
If the abuse is outside the family, call your local law enforcement
office. You can also call the district attorney's
office. Individuals who report in good faith have immunity from prosecution. After you report the abuse, the agency has the responsibility to initiate an investigation and contact other agencies. Child Welfare and Law Enforcement report to one another when they become aware of possible or disclosed abuse. They also have the responsibility to assure the child victim
If your child discloses sexual abuse, you may want to immediately contact your family physician
for an examination. However, prior to that, find out if your area has a Child Abuse Assessment Center
. These centers have physicians trained to recognize signs of abuse. If it is possible, having one physical examination and being interviewed in a formal process only one time is helpful to your child, who is feeling
afraid, confused, and anxious.
Remember: It is very difficult for a child to tell
someone about abuse. The child is afraid of the person's response
and afraid of the consequences of telling. Most children do not tell. The child needs to be believed, affirmed, and supported. If the child does not receive a positive response from the adult he or she tells, the child may later recant (take it back and say it did not happen). Many children continue to be abused after they disclose abuse. Children need to be protected. Safety is the critical issue. Child Abuse Reporting Numbers by State
Web Sites and Toll-Free Numbers
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Web sites and toll-free numbers for specific agencies designated to receive and investigate reports of suspected child abuse and neglect are available for ALL STATES. Numbers are current and regularly updated.
ChildHelp USA - National Child Abuse Hotline
www.childhelpusa.org 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453)
Hotline is staffed 24 hours, 7 days a week with professional counselors who provide resources for parents, child abuse victims, and individuals requesting child abuse information, and professionals. Serves the U.S., Canada, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
National Headquarters, 15757 N. 78th Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Office: 480-922-8212 Fax: 480-922-7061 CyberTipline http://www.cybertipline.com/
CyberTipline is toll-free line to report information about sexual exploitation of children on the web or other child pornography. Call 1-800-LOST
to report sexually exploited, abused, or missing children. Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Netwook (RAINN)
Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day. Partners with nearly 900 rape crisis centers across the country. Callers are automatically connected to local center for immediate help and information, referrals, or emotional support in local area.
635-B Pennsylvania Ave., S.E., Washington, DC 20003
Fax: 202-544-3556 Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgNational Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA)www.try-nova.org
Hotline: 1-800-TRY-NOVA (1-800-879-6682)
NOVA is network of practitioners, organizations, and survivors committed to victim rights and services.
1730 Park Road NW, Washington, DC 20010
Office: 202-232-6682 Fax: 202-462-2255