What Should I Do if a Child Tells Me They've Been Abused?
Believe the child
- Believe a child if s/he tells you something. False reporting is a myth - only 3% of children make up claims of abuse. However, children often take back what they say once adults act improperly.
- Remain calm. Assure the child you are listening and what s/he has to say is important.
- Let him/her know that it wasn't his/her fault.
Talk to the child
- Listen. Let the child do the talking.
- You can ask if they are ok - be human.
- Ask open questions - who, what, where?
- Don't conduct an investigation.
- Don't ask leading or suggestive questions. Don't insert the names of an adult you may suspect - let the child do the talking.
- Don't interrupt the child.
- Ask simple questions & use simple language.
- Avoid questions related to time.
- Avoid "why" questions.
Report the abuse
- Call 911 or 1-800-922-5330.
- All investigations are confidential and you can report anonymously
- Collect your facts and write down notes
- When reporting try to have:
- Child's Name
- Age or Date of Birth
- Present Location of Child
- Permanent address
- Caregiver's Name and Address
- Brief description of the allegations
- Let 911 help you - ask them questions if you are confused.
The Child Abuse Report Guide is intended to help by providing you with a guide to reporting abuse or neglect in Kansas. It suggests guidelines for:
- When to report child abuse
- What evidence needs to be noted
- The consequences of failure to report child abuse and neglect
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