Maybe you have a suspicion that a child is being abused, or a child has told you abuse is happening. Either way, it’s your responsibility to report it to the authorities.
Speaking out can be scary. What if you don’t know all the details? What if you aren’t 100% sure? Report. You do not need proof that abuse is occurring to make a report, only reasonable suspicion. Reporting child sexual abuse is key in preventing and intervening in abuse.
If a child discloses, remain calm, tell them you believe them and that it’s not their fault, and ask open-ended questions.
All adults should always act in the best interest of the child. But some individuals are Mandated Reporters and required by law to report abuse. Laws vary by state – it may be to child protective services, a department of family and child services of your county, or law enforcement.
Click your state below to see how to make a report and to find resources* in your state including child advocacy centers and mental health services.