General ideas to help
If you suspect a child is being abused,it's critical to speak up.
Reporting child abuse
National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-422-4453
or your local law enforcement office
If you see future incidences, continue to call and report them. Each child abuse report is a snapshot of what is going on in the family. The more information that you can provide, the better the chance of getting the best care for the child.
Common worries about reporting child abuse
- I don’t want to interfere in someone else’s family. Child abuse and neglect is NOT merely a family matter, and the consequences of staying silent can be devastating for the child.
- What if I break up someone’s home? A child abuse report does not mean a child is automatically removed from the home—unless the child is clearly in danger. Support such as parenting classes, anger management or other resources may be offered to parents first.
- They will know it was me who called. Reporting is anonymous. In most places, you do not have to give your name when you report child abuse.
- It won’t make a difference what I have to say. If you have a gut feeling that something is wrong, it's better to be safe than sorry. Even if you don’t see the whole picture, others may have noticed as well, and a pattern can help identify child abuse that might have otherwise slipped through the cracks.