Reporting Abuse

If you believe a child is being abused, it is critical that you help. You may be afraid that you are interfering in someone else’s family. You may worry that the authorities will only make the situation worse. But, despite your fears you’ve got to get the child help. The effects of abuse and neglect last a lifetime, and affect future generations and the entire community. Consider these myths about reporting abuse to help you put your mind at rest about doing your duty as an adult member of the community.

  • I don’t want to interfere in someone else’s family. Of course you don’t – however children cannot speak out for themselves. Not only are the consequences for the child grave – other children may be affected as well. Moreover, when the children grow up, they may find themselves continuing the cycle with their own children. Help the oppressed – and the oppressor. Help break the cycle of child abuse. You literally could be saving the lives of many!
  • I might break up someone’s home. If child abuse is happening – the family, and home are already broken! Remember that the priority in child protective services is keeping children in the home. A child abuse report does not mean a child is automatically removed from the home - unless the child is clearly in danger. Support such as parenting classes, anger management or other resources may be offered first to parents if they are safe for the child.
  • They will know it was me who called. Reporting abuse is anonymous. In most places, you do not have to give your name when you report child abuse. The child abuser cannot find out who made the report of child abuse.
  • My report won’t make a difference. If you have a gut feeling that something is wrong, it is better to be safe than sorry. Even if you don’t see the whole picture, others may have noticed as well, and a pattern can help identify child abuse that might have otherwise slipped through the cracks.

When it comes to reporting child abuse or neglect, we urge you to be brave, and strong in your conviction to help the child/ children. Not only are you changing their lives now, you are also giving them a chance to grow up and become functional members of the community.

Still Not Sure?

Then pick up the phone and call 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) now. The professional staff at the hotline can help you process your concerns and decide on the best course of action. The Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who, through interpreters, can provide assistance in 170 languages. The Hotline offers crisis intervention, information, literature, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are anonymous and confidential. For more information, see the National Child Abuse Hotline website.



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Project Sakinah
Dar al Islam
P.O. Box 180
Abiquiu, NM  87510