Reporting Child Abuse

Good News Conflict Management. Providing hope and help for those in need.

The thought of children being abused is horrifying, and yet it’s a reality of our world. Children are often abused and neglected, but there is something you can do about it. You can report it. 

It might be scary to report child abuse, even though you know it’s the right thing to do. Perhaps the person abusing or neglecting a child is your family member or a friend. Should you still report them? Yes, you should. If you are aware of child abuse, you have a duty under the law to report it. If you don’t, you could actually get into trouble yourself. 

Children can’t stand up for themselves, so they need you to fight for them—even when it’s hard and even when it means someone you care about will get into trouble.

Can Reporting Child Abuse Help Someone Other Than the Child?

One pro of reporting child abuse that many people don’t consider is that it could help the person purporting the abuse. If a mother is neglecting her child because she is a substance abuser, you reporting her might be the best thing that happened to her. It could help her to wake up to the harm she’s causing, and it might help her get her act together.

True, not every ending will be so peachy, and some families will likely be separated because of your report; however, it’s still best to report it.

If you suspect abuse and you’re wrong, no one will likely get into trouble. However, if you witness child abuse or know of it and don’t report it, it’s you who could get into trouble. For example, failure to report child abuse is a crime in most states and penalties range from 30 days in jail to five years imprisonment. In some states, penalties could be even harsher depending on the circumstances.

Where to Report

You can obviously report child abuse to the police or call 911 if you believe the situation is dire. You can also report child abuse to Child Protective Services in your area.

Resolving Conflict Through Information Distribution

Good News Conflict Management cares about helping families to resolve conflict, especially legal conflict. Reporting child abuse may seem like it would cause conflict, but it’s actually the opposite. You are helping a child, and that’s always best. 

In addition, exposing child abuse will help the family in the long run. Also, family members do not always perpetrate child abuse. The family might not even know of the abuse. It’s imperative that everyone who knows about a child that is suffering reports that abuse to the proper authorities.