Where to Report Abuse

If you see Child Abuse happening, call the Police at 911 immediately.

What to DO when a child comes forward:

  • Contact Law Enforcement at 911 and the Department of Children Services at 1-877-237-0004 immediately and without exception
  • Comfort and reassure the child, when needed
  • Arrange for immediate counseling, if needed
  • Document the information and your concerns in writing as soon as possible
  • Secure medical attention, if appropriate
  • Keep the child separate from the alleged offender, if possible

What NOT to DO when a child comes forward:

  • Make promises you cannot keep
  • Attempt to investigate the allegations on your own
  • Make the child repeat the disclosure to other responsible adults
  • Inform the alleged offended of the accusation or the identity of the child
  • Overreact, be judgmental or become overly emotional in the presence of the child
  • Confront the alleged offender

Ways to RESPOND when a child comes forward:

  • Go slowly and deliberately—don’t ask too much too quickly and don’t pressure the child to keep talking
  • Reassure the child that he or she did the right thing by telling
  • Let the child know you believe his or her story
  • Tell the child it was not his or her fault; repeat this message
  • Keep your own anger in check
  • It is all right to say you are sorry for what happened, but don’t allow your feelings of sadness or anger overwhelm the child’s feelings or take precedence
  • Tell the child briefly what will happen next
  • Give continuing support for the courage and strength it took for the child to tell

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