Reporting Child Abuse

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on Reporting Child Abuse.

Know the Warning Signs of Abuse
Abuse in Public Places
Reporting Child Abuse and Maltreatment
Some questions and answers about reporting abuse
False Allegations
Impact from False Charges
Things You Can Do to Prevent Child Abuse
Related Issues:
Talking With Kids About Tough Issues, Abuse, Child Maltreatment, Children, Circumcision, Gangs, Hazing, Incest/Molestation, Ritual Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Harassment, Violence, Domestic Violence, Women's Violence and Prisons.
Books - Abuse - Boys, Abuse - Children, Abuse - MPD, Abuse - Ritual, Abuse-Sexual, Circumcision, Anger, Forgiveness, Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, Sexual Harassment, and Women's Violence
Journals & Periodicals - on Child, Elder, Emotional, Religious, and Sexual Abuse and Trauma
Bumper Sticker - Make the World Safe for Children

Know the Warning Signs of Abuse

Children who are abused may show physical and behavioral signs. They may seem:

Abused children may also show sudden changes in behavior or school performance. These signs don't prove that a child is being abused. But they could be a signal that the child and his or her family need help.

Some signs of physical abuse:

Some signs of sexual abuse:

Some signs of emotional abuse:

Some signs of neglect.

Also, know the signs of an abusive adult. Consider the possibility of abuse if a parent or caretaker:

Abuse in Public Places

If you see a child being abused in public, do what you can to help:

Reporting Child Abuse and Maltreatment

If you suspect abuse, report it - it's the right thing to do.

When a child tells an adult that he or she has been sexually abused, the adult may feel uncomfortable and may not know what to say or do. The following guidelines should be used when responding to children who say they have been sexually abused:

What to Say

What to Do

Reprinted with permission by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). The above information is presented for educational purposes only, and it is not a substitute for informed medical advice or training. Please do not use this information to diagnose or treat a mental health problem without consulting a qualified health or mental health care provider.

Editor's Note: Fathers whose wives or girlfriends are abusive or neglectful of their children and fail to report the abuse to authorities are often treated more harshly by the judicial system than the actual perpetrator. Lack for action to protect your children may result in prison time. It also may result in you being charged as the actual abuser. And, while things are changing as society realizes that over 62% of all child abuse is committed by women, that risk remains. However, not reporting it and the authorities finding out about it can almost guarantee charges against you and the loss of contact with your children.

Some questions and answers about reporting abuse

Who should I report to?  Call your state's child protective services agency. (You can call and not give your name.) Check your phone book or call the Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline at 800.4.A.CHILD (800.422.4453)

What happens when a report is made? The process varies from state to state. In general:

How will the child be protected? If abuse is occurring in the home:

If the parents don't cooperate with these requirements, they could risk losing custody of the child permanently.

Will the abuser be punished? It depends. Often, the goal is to help the abuser break the cycle of abuse, so the family can stay together. In some cases, the abuser may face criminal charges. (Editor's Note: Remember, that if you are the partner of the abuser and don't report the abuse, you too may face criminal charges.)

I reported abuse, and nothing happened. What else can I do? Keep in mind that you may not have the legal right to know what steps were taken to protect the child. If you are still concerned about the child, you can help in other ways:

And, keep reporting the abuse until the situation is resolved.

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