CHILD ABUSE INTERVENTION
Although many people are reluctant to get involved, you must report abuse. It could just save a child’s life! You have the responsibility as an adult to report it.
In the United States, Canada, and Australia, the concept of mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse is well established. Laws on mandatory reporters designate classes of professionals who must report suspected child abuse. (such as school employees, social workers & counselors, health care staff, mental health professionals, daycare providers, and law enforcement)
Intervention in Child Abuse Cases
In the United States, New York became the first state to institute child protection laws (1875) that made abuse against children a crime, and other states soon followed with similar laws. In 1974 the U.S. Congress passed the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, which encouraged remaining states to pass child protection laws and created the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. In addition, all states have their own reporting laws, juvenile and family court laws, and criminal laws.
Cases of child abuse are handled by an multidisciplinary team including medical personnel, law enforcement officers, the schools, social workers, and the courts. School personnel may be the first to notice and report signs of abuse. Child-abuse cases are often coordinated by a community’s child protective services unit, which sends case workers to the home for evaluation and offers services to the child and family. Medical professionals may report cases, provide treatment for injured children, provide testimony in court, or help to educate parents. Law enforcement personnel may be involved when cases are reported or when there is a question of a criminal action. The courts provide emergency protective orders or decide whether the child should be removed from the home. Child abuse may be punished by incarceration of the perpetrator or by the denial of custody rights to abusive parents or guardians.
WHY YOUTH WILL DISCLOSE INFORMATION:
|76% I told because I couldn’t hold it in any longer.
56% I told because I wanted it to stop so my life could go on.
56% I told because I wanted him/her to be punished.
53% I finally felt comfortable enough to tell.
50% I was afraid someone else would get hurt if I didn’t talk.
48% I was afraid I’d get hurt if I didn’t tell.
41% I told because I couldn’t sleep/ eat/ think anymore.
41% I got tired of the unwanted sexual experiences.
40% Someone else convinced me to tell.
35% Someone else told me about their unwanted experiences.
31% I was pregnant or afraid I might be.
28% Due to a school program about unwanted sex experiences.
22% I told because I didn’t want to go home.
|Kellogg and Huston, 1995, pp. 308-309|
|74% I was scared.
60% I was embarrassed.
55% I didn’t want to get into trouble.
47% I didn’t want anyone else to get into trouble.
46% No one would believe me.
29% I still like/love the other person.
29% I was my fault as much as the other person’s.
|Kellogg and Huston, 1995, pp. 308-3092|
It can be uncomfortable to watch a child mistreated by an adult who’s out of control.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to help….
Start a conversation with the adult to direct attention away from the child
Talk directly to the child to divert the child’s attention if misbehaving.
Look for an opportunity to praise the parent and/or child.
Offer assistance if the child is in danger–lend a hand to help out.
Avoid negative remarks or dirty looks.
If all else fails—REPORT IT!
The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline:
Other places to call include:
|Help That You Need||Phone Numbers|
|Emergency intervention||911– Police|
|Agencies to call to report within the U.S.||Child Abuse Reporting Numbers|
sexual child abuse, for missing or abducted children, for rape and incest, and for runaway and homeless children and their families
|Toll-Free Crisis Hotline Numbers|
|Helpline for teens
||Youth and Teens or 1-800-RUNAWAY|
|Sex Offender Registry
||National Sex Offender Public RegistryandFederal Bureau of Investigation’s Investigative Programs: Crimes Against Children|
Preventing or stopping child abuse
Report Child Abuse 1-800-4-A-Child ~ Education & Knowledge is the “key” to prevention!!!
- parent education programs
- emergency shelters
- in-home services
- family resource centers
- parent support groups
- mental health services
- educational brochures & pamphlets
- informational fliers
- seminars, speaking engagements, rallies