What to Do if You Suspect Child Abuse

If you have a reasonable suspicion that a child has been abused, it is your duty to report it. Sometimes it is scary because we don’t want to be involved, or we think that we don’t have enough evidence.

But wouldn’t it be better to report it and be wrong than not report it and see that child on the news in the evening?
 

If a child discloses that he or she has been abused by someone, it is important that you listen to them most of all.

DO NOT
* Investigate
* Ask leading questions (a question that suggests the answer or contains the information the questioner is looking for – That man touched you, didn’t he?)
* Make promises
* Notify the parents or the caretaker

 
DO
* Provide a safe environment (be comforting, welcoming, and a good listener).
* Tell the child it was not his/her fault
* Listen carefully
* Document the child’s exact quotes
* Be supportive, not judgmental
* Know your limits
* Tell the truth and make no promises

 
Ask ONLY four questions
1. What happened?

2. Who did this to you?

3. Where were you when this happened?

4. When did this happen?

Asking any additional questions may contaminate a case!

Report it!
 
 

Call your local Law Enforcement Agency

Call your local Child Protective Services Agency