What is Child Abuse
Physical abuse is generally described as any non-intentional physical injury to a child. It does not necessarily include the intend to injure; may be the result of over disciplining or inappropriate punishment. For more specific information please speak with your local law enforcement agency.
Sexual abuse includes but is not limited to molestation, incest, rape, prostitution, or use of a child for pornographic purposes, physical/ direct contact (touching, feeling, fondling, or attempted rape) non-physical/ no touch (indecent exposure, talking about sex designed to shock or interest a child, allowing a child to hear sexual acts). For more specific information please speak with your local law enforcement agency.
Blaming, belittling, rejection, harsh verbal abuse or threats, unequal treatment of siblings, and generally a lack of concern for a child's well being.
Inattention to the basic needs of a child such as food, water, shelter, medical care and supervision. Tends to be a chronic or ongoing pattern.
Reporting Child Abuse
An oral report must be made immediately (generally within 48 hours of discovery) to the nearest child protective services office or to your local law enforcement agency. Anyone who reports a case in good faith is generally immune to civil and criminal liability. Again the report must be made in "good faith" and without "malice aforethought"
Good faith - a person has taken reasonable steps to ensure that the information given is true based on the facts at hand.
Malice A forethought - a person does not hold ill-will or hard feelings toward the person being reported in such a way as to cause that persons rights to be violated.
What happens after a report
Generally, several events will take place after a report has been made. These events are all determined by local and state laws where you live. You will generally be asked several questions to help substantiate your report. This information is then given to an investigative team to handle. You may be asked for names, addresses, details of suspected abuse for the child you are concerned about as well as your own information. If you are reporting in good faith there should be no reason for concern in giving this information out to officials.