Where to report child sexual abuse in California depends on where in California you are located. The community resources in California below will be helpful for responding and reporting to child sexual abuse.
Call to Report Abuse:
If you’re in California, find your county’s emergency response child abuse reporting number here or contact the any Law Enforcement Agency at 911.
You are not required to provide proof. Anyone who makes a good faith report based on reasonable grounds is immune from prosecution.
If the abuse occurred within the past 72 hours, a medical evaluation by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner is available by going to the Emergency Department at Your County Medical Center or by going to the nearest child advocacy center.
How To Report Child Abuse in California & Mandated Reporting in California
If you suspect that a child has been, or is in danger of, abuse or neglect, contact the police or county sheriff, or the county Children’s Protective Services 24-hour emergency response phone.
All adults should report if they suspect abuse. Some individuals in California are mandated by law to report. It’s important for you to know if you are a mandated reporter in California and how to report abuse properly. To see California’s reporting laws, go here.
child abuse and neglect mandated reporter training
Our Recognizing & Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect training will teach you definitions and indicators of sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect. It also teaches you about the legal obligations as a mandated reporter defined by your state.
Penal Code § 11165.7
- Teachers, teacher’s aides, administrators, and employees of public or private schools; administrators or employees of day camps, youth centers, or youth recreation programs; administrators or employees of licensed community care or child daycare facilities; Head Start program teachers; employees or administrators of public or private post-secondary institutions
- Public assistance workers; foster parents, group home personnel, and personnel of residential care facilities; social workers, probation officers, and parole officers; child visitation monitors
- Employees of school district police or security departments
- District attorney investigators, inspectors, or local child support agency caseworkers; employees or volunteers of a Court-Appointed Special Advocate program
- Physicians, surgeons, psychiatrists, psychologists, alcohol and drug counselors, dentists, residents, interns, podiatrists, chiropractors, licensed nurses, dental hygienists, optometrists, marriage and family therapists, or social workers; state or county public health employees who treat minors for venereal diseases or other conditions; coroners and medical examiners
- Commercial film and photographic print or image processors; computer technicians
- Animal control or humane society officers
- Clergy members and custodians of records of clergy members
- Employees of police departments, county sheriff’s departments, county probation departments, or county welfare departments; peace officers and firefighters, except for volunteer firefighters
- Athletic coaches, athletic administrators, or athletic directors employed by any public or private schools; athletic coaches, including, but not limited to, assistant coaches or graduate assistants involved in coaching at public or private post-secondary
Penal Code §§ 11166; 11165.7
A report is required when:
- A mandated reporter, in his or her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her employment, has knowledge of or observes a child whom the reporter knows or reasonably suspects is the victim of abuse or neglect.
- Commercial film and photographic print processors have knowledge of or observe any film, photograph, videotape, negative, or slide depicting a child under age 16 engaged in an act of sexual conduct.
- Commercial computer technicians have knowledge of or observe, within the scope of their professional capacity or employment, any representation of information, data, or an image, including, but not limited to, any computer hardware, software, file, floppy disk, data storage medium, CD-ROM, computer-generated equipment, or computer-generated image, that is retrievable in perceivable form and that is intentionally saved, transmitted, or organized on an electronic medium, depicting a child under age 16 engaged in an act of sexual conduct.
For the purposes of this article, ‘reasonable suspicion’ means that it is objectively reasonable for a person to entertain a suspicion, based upon facts that could cause a reasonable person in a like position, drawing, when appropriate, on his or her training and experience, to suspect child abuse or neglect. ‘Reasonable suspicion’ does not require certainty that child abuse or neglect has occurred nor does it require a specific medical indication of child abuse or neglect; any ‘reasonable suspicion’ is sufficient. For the purposes of this article, the pregnancy of a minor does not, in and of itself, constitute a basis for a reasonable suspicion of sexual abuse.
Penal Code § 11166
The clergy-penitent privilege is permitted for penitential communications. This does not modify or limit a clergy member’s duty to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect when the clergy member is acting in some other capacity that would otherwise make the clergy member mandated reporter.
Penal Code § 11167
Reports of mandated reporters shall include: the name, business address, and telephone number of the mandated reporter, and the capacity that makes the person a mandated reporter. Reports of other persons do not require the reporter’s name.
Penal Code § 11167
The identity of the reporter shall be confidential and disclosed only:
- Among agencies receiving or investigating mandated reports
- To the prosecutor in a criminal prosecution or in an action initiated under § 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code arising from alleged child abuse; to counsel appointed pursuant to § 317(c) of the Welfare and Institutions Code; to the county counsel or prosecutor in a proceeding under Part 4 (commencing with Section 7800) of Division 12 of the Family Code or § 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
- To a licensing agency when abuse or neglect in out-of-home care is reasonably suspected
- When the reporter waives confidentiality and by court order
Below is a list of California counties and California zip codes. If you're in one of these you can report child abuse here.
|Contra Costa||Del Norte||El Dorado|
|Sacramento||San Benito||San Bernardino|
|San Diego||San Francisco||San Joaquin|
|San Luis Obispo||San Mateo||Santa Barbara|
|Santa Clara||Santa Cruz||Shasta|