Sometimes the decision to file is not easy.

It’s scary to think that making a phone call could change our lives. We can’t know beforehand what will happen after we file. We don’t know if our report will lead to a child’s getting protection or possibly make things difficult for the child. Sometimes the fear of family disruption or family break-up is so great that we’re tempted to ignore signs of abuse so that we don’t have to face filing a report. Here are three reasons why it can feel difficult to take action:

What’s at stake

Possible consequences of not filing a report:

When making a safety plan, consider including the person who has been abusive in on the process

You may be able to support an adult who is abusing in getting treatment or in coming forward to the authorities, on their own, by talking to them directly about your concerns in a concerned, rather than confrontational way. Stop It Now!’s publication, Let’s Talk, offers guidance and advice on how to prepare and carry out these difficult conversations. When talking doesn’t work or isn’t safe, or if there is no time to talk due to the urgency of the situation, filing a report is of utmost importance.

Learn More
Our Resources

Helpful Organizations
Organization: Child Help (1.800.4ACHILD)


1.800.422.4453  National website and confidential hotline offers support in response to all child abuse including referrals to counseling for child victims.


Helpful Articles
Title:What Are The Effects of Child Sexual Abuse?
Abstract:Learn about the short and long-term effects of child sexual abuse
American Psychological Association
Related Files:
Helpful Links