Abuse Information

Finding Help

How can I get help if I am a child or teen who is being abused?

Call the National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

Some kids are afraid to report the abuse because they fear punishment, loss of love, or family dishonor for telling a secret.

The hotline will make sure you are protected from further abuse. They will help you to report the abuse to an agency that will make sure you are safe. The hotline staff members will call Child Protective Services or the police and stay on the line in a three-way call to help you talk to the agency. Even if you have told the person who is abusing you that you will keep a secret about the things you do together, it is okay to call the hotline and get help for yourself.

The hotline can help you find ongoing support from caring adults. It is not your fault that you are being abused, and you need help from other adults to protect your safety. If the abuse is within your own family, you need protection while your family learns new ways to act with each other.

You may wish to learn to protect yourself against someone who may try to abuse you. Several organizations can teach you to say “No” with words and by your actions.

How do I report suspected child abuse?

Many people don’t know where to report suspected child abuse. Also, some people are afraid of reporting child abuse because of possible repercussions to the children or to themselves. In many states, it is required by law for all citizens to report suspected abuse. Each state has a different procedure for reporting abuse.

From any state, to get immediate guidance and help when you suspect child abuse, Call the National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

The National Child Abuse Hotline will give you the local agency for you to call to report the incident. The abuse report must eventually go to an agency within your own state.

You probably will be relieved to know that:

  • If you report child abuse, it is unlikely that the child will be removed from their home immediately. The authorities will investigate to find out if your suspicions are correct. If child abuse is confirmed, the child would then be removed from the home and placed in safe care.
  • You do not have to give your name when you report child abuse, in most states.
  • The child abuser cannot find out who reported them.

Remember that suspected abuse is sufficient reason to make a report to authorities. You do not need proof. Your call may make the difference in the very life of a child.

How do I get help if I think I may abuse a child, or if I have already abused a child?

Call the National Child Abuse Hotline:
1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

The hotline can talk you through a parenting or caretaking crisis and offer guidance about how to better handle the situation. You need help and support. The hotline can find out about parenting support groups for you to attend, or local counselors who can talk with you.

To educate yourself about discipline techniques that work better than physical punishment, refer to the links at the end of this article.

I am a child abuse survivor;
where can I get help?

The National Child Abuse Hotline can lead you to a support group in your community for survivors of child abuse, or they can offer one-on-one support: Call the National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

Child abuse is a trauma, and you may have developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You may find that you are more fearful than other people, as if the traumatic event were occurring in the present. You may also re-experience the trauma with flashbacks and nightmares. And you may have become unresponsive and numb to other people and events as a way of protecting yourself psychologically. Given support in a safe environment and from caring individuals, you may be able to recover psychologically.

* Source: Helpguide.org