If you suspect a child is being sexually abused, getting the proper help and support is vital. Typically, the situations that require reporting are:
- A child and/or adult shows numerous and consistent warning signs of abuse or being at risk to abuse
- A child has stated that he or she is being abused by an adult
- A child has stated that another child has been engaging in sexually harmful behaviors with him or her
- A child states that he or she has sexually harmed another child
- An adult has stated that he or she has sexually abused a child
- An individual has become aware of child pornography online
- An adult is aware of another adult or child who is viewing child pornography
If an adult who is responsible for caring for a child is suspected of sexually abusing a child, then the local child protection services should be contacted. If an adult who is not in a caregiving position with a child is suspected of sexual abuse, the local police should be notified. Concerns about child pornography can be reported to either the local police or cyber crime tiplines.
Keys to Reporting
If abuse is suspected, reaching out to protective authorities could lead to the protection of a child, and getting recovery help for the child. Filing a report can result in holding the person who is abusing accountable and getting them treatment so that they will be able to stop abusive behaviors.
Keys to Legal Action
Preparing for legal involvement can help an adult who is at-risk to abuse a child or who has abused a child plan for safety, as well as prepare others who are concerned that an adult they know is a risk to children.
Frequently Used Resources
Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Numbers By State (Child Welfare Information Gateway)
A listing of phone numbers by state to call and report child abuse.
Provides 24/7 assistance in 170 languages to adults, children and youth with information and questions regarding child abuse. All calls are anonymous and confidential.
CyberTipline (1.800.843.5678) (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
National reporting hotline for internet safety.
Form to report CSE, CSA, Trafficking to Homesland Security
International directory of resources for reporting concerning online content
Reporting internet sexual abuse crimes against children.