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Report Suspected Child Sexual Abuse

What Should I Report?

Examples of child sexual abuse that should be reported include, but are not limited to: grooming, voyeurism, online predation, solicitation of a minor for nude photographs or sexual acts, or any other contact (or attempt at contact) of a sexual nature with a child.

Note: Even if the abuser is underage, it is still important to report so that both children can get help. Often abusers have been abused themselves.

How Do I Report and What Happens If I Do?

First, collect whatever information you have about the child being violated and the suspected abuser. Do NOT get involved trying to super-sleuth information. Just gather the facts you have and make your report.

What to do if an Abuser is outside of the child’s family:

(e.g., online chat, neighbor, teacher, babysitter, etc.)

Click the button below to go to the Nation Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Cyber Tipline. Upon completion of your report, the case is immediately processed and routed to the appropriate local authorities and the FBI hotline for child exploitation as well.

Report an Outside Abuser


Note:  It will take a few minutes to complete the report. If you are not sure about any of the questions, just do your best. Before you are done, the report will ask for your information, the child’s information and the abuser’s information to the best of your knowledge; and will also provide a place for any additional comments you may have. Make sure to mark that it’s OK for them to contact you if they have questions.

What to do if an abuser is inside the child’s family:

(e.g., sibling, aunt/uncle, parent, grandparent):

Call the Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline. They will provide you the phone number for your local Child Protective Services division (DFCS) where you can report whatever information you have about the suspected abuse.  All reports are anonymous and your name will never be disclosed to the reported abuser.

Note: DFCS is not law enforcement. They are a specialized division that deals with child safety. Upon receiving a report, they will first reach out to non-offending family members and make a preliminary assessment of what is required to protect the child immediately. They will then engage a local Child Advocacy Center with expertise in sexual abuse to help them assess the situation more deeply in a way that is safe and non-traumatic for the child. After the CAC has assessed the child, law enforcement or judicial support may be engaged. Child Advocacy Center involvement also provides an important close-gap that piggy-backs DFCS efforts to make sure that the child receives any medical and counseling services required for their recovery and healing.

Reporting isn’t easy, but it’s the only right thing to do

Reporting suspected child sexual abuse can be scary, especially for anyone who has ever had psychological trauma themselves. You may wonder how it will affect the parties involved: the accused, the child and yourself.  But the cost of not reporting is devastating–a child being left to face his or her abuser alone again. Plus, any abuser not reported will continue to have access to unlimited children to prey upon. Most offenders will steal the innocence of dozens of children before they are reported. That’s right, not one… dozens… per abuser!

Yes, reporting may be uncomfortable. But you may be the only chance this child has for intervention. It’s up to you, literally.


*The information provided above is for the United States only. For help outside of the United States, please search for a Child Advocacy Center near you or contact your local law enforcement for assistance.