What should I report to the police about suspected child abuse?
What is the child's name, age and address?
What is your relationship to the child?
What is the suspected abuser's name, address, and license plate number? What is his or her relationship to the child?
What are the names, addresses and phone numbers of the child's parents?
What type of abuse do you suspect? What are your reasons for suspecting it? When did it occur?
What is the current location of the child?
What is the child's current level of safety?
Are there other witnesses? What are their names, addresses and telephone numbers?
What should I do if a child tells me they have been abused?
Believe the child
Children rarely lie about abuse. Although it may be hard to believe that someone we know or care about is capable of sexually abusing a child, it's highly unlikely that a child would deliberately make false accusations about adult-like sexual behaviours. Children often are threatened not to tell, therefore It takes tremendous couragefor them to talk about abuse.
Reasure the Child that they did not do anything wrong and that you love them. Tell them they did the right thing by telling and you are glad they told you. Tell them that you are going to do everything you can to protect them.
Don’t get angry or upset. Stay calm and steady. If you get angry the child may think you are going to punish them – this will play into the hands of the abuser who warned the child not to tell. If the child fears you will become upset or distressed they are less likely to disclose in order to protect you emotionally.
Protect the Child
Stay with the child until help is available. Do not confront the abuser. Call your local police to report the abuse. If you suspect sexual abuse do not let the child shower. Any abuse photos or clothing evidence may be helpful in prosecution.