Reporting Child Abuse and Violence Against Children

One of the biggest reasons why child abuse continues on in silence in this country is that neighbors, friends, family members do not report any suspicious behavior. Many children’s lives would have been saved if there were previous reports documented by law enforcement or the Division of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS), also known as Child Protective Services (CPS) in some states. Perpetrators of crimes against children often go free because of no prior documented police record, only to eventually kill a child. Very few people report suspected abuse or neglect! If Casey Anthony’s parents and extended family or friends would have reported something suspicious in the child’s life, Caylee may not have died.  If you suspect abuse OR the neglect of a child, please make a report with your local police as well! This is critical and it must be documented.

People who call to report suspected abuse do not have to be sure maltreatment has occurred. They simply report what they have seen or heard. The authorities will investigate and confirm whether or not abuse has occurred. People who call are asked to give the name and location of the child and the name of the suspected perpetrator.

Reports are confidential and those who call do not have to give their name. However, it is most helpful to the child in the long run if the reporter is willing to give his or her name and address and, if necessary, testify in court.

The job of protecting children starts in the community. While certain people are required by law to report child mistreatment, anyone can make a report of suspected abuse. The sooner the authorities know about a child, the faster they can move to help!
 

Things to Look For

Children who are maltreated are:

  • Often left home alone
  • In the neighborhood for long periods without supervision
  • Frequently hungry
  • Dressed inadequately for the weather
  • Absent from school frequently
  • Bruised or have other marks of physical violence
  • Withdrawn or overly aggressive
  • Not receiving needed medical attention

In addition, if you see any of the following, please report!

  • A child being hit with an object
  • Marks on a child’s body that do not appear to be an accident
  • If a child tells you that he or she has been harmed by someone

How to Report Child Abuse or Neglect

  1. Call the police and make a report
  2. Call your local county’s DFCS or CPS office and make a report. Numbers are listed below.

Within a few weeks, follow up with both parties to see if the report was submitted and investigated as of yet. DFCS and CPS are part of your state government

Some of these states require both the reporting party and the child who is allegedly being abused or neglected to live in the same state, however, some states have out of state reporting numbers. If the reporting party lives in a different state and there is no out of state number, please call the National Child Abuse 24-hour Hotline at 1-800-422-4453. Additionally, please call the local police in the child’s city and make a report. For more detailed instructions on reporting abuse or neglect in each state, move your cursor over the state name and visit their Department of Family and Children’s Services.

Alabama
Report By County
Alaska
(800) 478-4444
Arizona
(888) 767-2445
Arkansas
(800) 482-5964
California
Report By County
Colorado
Report By County
Connecticut
(800) 842-2288
Delaware
(800) 292-9582
District of Columbia
(202)671-7233
Florida
(800) 962-2873
Georgia
Report By County
Hawaii
Report By Island
Idaho
Report By Regional Office
Illinois
(800) 252-2873
Indiana
(800)800-5556
Iowa
(800) 362-2178
Kansas
(800) 922-5330
Kentucky
(800) 752-6200
Louisiana
Report By Parish/County
Maine
(800) 452-1999
(Local and State)
Maryland
(800) 332-6347
Massachusetts
(800) 792-5200
Michigan
(800) 942-4357
Minnesota
Report By County
Mississippi
(800) 222-8000
Missouri
(800) 392-3738
Montana
(800) 332-6100
Nebraska
(800) 652-1999
Nevada
(800) 992-5757
New Hampshire
(800) 894-5533
New Jersey
(800) 792-8610
New Mexico
(800) 432-2075
New York
(800) 342-3720
North Carolina
(800) 354-KIDS
North Dakota
Report By Regional Office
Ohio
Report By County
Oklahoma
(800) 522-3511
Oregon
(800) 854-3508
Pennsylvania
(800) 932-0313
Rhode Island
(800) 742-4453
South Carolina
Report By County
South Dakota
Report By County
Tennessee
Report By County
Texas
(800) 252-5400
Utah
(800) 678-9399
Vermont
(800) 649-5285
Virginia
(800) 552-7906
Washington
(800) 562-5624
West Virginia
(800) 352-6513
Wyoming
Report By County