What Should You Do If You Know a Child is Being Abused?

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The short answer is: If you know a child is being abused, report it immediately to the proper authorities.

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 12.34.58 AMAnyone and everyone is able to report suspected abuse or neglect. Doing so can not only save a child’s life, but also get help for a family in need. There is a stigma in some homeschooling circles about social workers and child protective services, but these individuals and organizations exist to help. They can connect a well-meaning but neglectful family with resources to improve their parenting skills or economic situation; they can also rescue a child from cruel and horrible circumstances.

If you need help or counseling prior to reporting abuse, Childhelp is a national organization that can assist you. It offers crisis intervention, information, literature, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls to them are confidential. You can call Childhelp at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) or visit their website here.

If you are prepared and ready to report abuse, the following are toll-free numbers for each U.S. state’s specific agencies designated to receive and investigate reports of suspected child abuse and neglect:

Alabama

Click on the website above for information on reporting or call Childhelp® (800-422-4453) for assistance.

Alaska
Toll-Free: (800) 478-4444

 

Arizona
Toll-Free: (888) SOS-CHILD (888-767-2445)

 

Arkansas
Toll-Free: (800) 482-5964

 

California

Click on the website above for information on reporting or call Childhelp® (800-422-4453) for assistance.

Colorado
Local (toll): (303) 866-5932

Click on the website above for information on reporting or call (303) 866.5932

Connecticut
TDD: (800) 624-5518
Toll-Free: (800) 842-2288

 

Delaware
Toll-Free: (800) 292-9582

 

District of Columbia
Local (toll): (202) 671-SAFE (202-671-7233)

 

Florida
Toll-Free: (800) 96-ABUSE (800-962-2873)

 

Georgia

Click on the website above for information on reporting or call Childhelp® (800-422-4453) for assistance.

Hawaii
Local (toll): (808) 832-5300

 

Idaho
TDD: (208) 332-7205
Toll-Free: (800) 926-2588

 

Illinois
Toll-Free: (800) 252-2873
Local (toll): (217) 524-2606

 

Indiana
Toll-Free: (800) 800-5556

 

Iowa
Toll-Free: (800) 362-2178

 

Kansas
Toll-Free: (800) 922-5330

 

Kentucky
Toll-Free: (877) 597-2331

 

Louisiana
Toll-Free: (855) 452-5437

 

Maine
TTY: (800) 963-9490
Toll-Free: (800) 452-1999

 

Maryland

Click on the website above for information on reporting or call Childhelp® (800-422-4453) for assistance.

Massachusetts
Toll-Free: (800) 792-5200

 

Michigan
Fax: (616) 977-1154
(616) 977-1158
Toll-Free: (855) 444-3911

 

Minnesota

Click on the website above for information on reporting or call Childhelp® (800-422-4453) for assistance.

Mississippi
Toll-Free: (800) 222-8000
Local (toll): (601) 359-4991

 

Missouri
Toll-Free: (800) 392-3738

 

Montana
Toll-Free: (866) 820-5437

 

Nebraska
Toll-Free: (800) 652-1999

 

Nevada
Toll-Free: (800) 992-5757

 

New Hampshire
Toll-Free: (800) 894-5533
Local (toll): (603) 271-6556

 

New Jersey
TDD: (800) 835-5510
TTY: (800) 835-5510
Toll-Free: (877) 652-2873

 

New Mexico
Toll-Free: (855) 333-7233

 

New York
TDD: (800) 369-2437
Toll-Free: (800) 342-3720
Local (toll): (518) 474-8740

 

North Carolina

Click on the website above for information on reporting or call Childhelp® (800-422-4453) for assistance.

North Dakota

Click on the website above for information on reporting or call Childhelp® (800-422-4453) for assistance.

Ohio
Toll-Free: (855) 642-4453

 

Oklahoma
Toll-Free: (800) 522-3511

 

Oregon

Click on the website above for information on reporting or call Childhelp® (800-422-4453) for assistance.

Pennsylvania
TDD: (866) 872-1677
Toll-Free: (800) 932-0313

 

Puerto Rico
Toll-Free: (800) 981-8333
Local (toll): (787) 749-1333

 

Rhode Island
Toll-Free: (800) RI-CHILD (800-742-4453)

 

South Carolina
Local (toll): (803) 898-7318

Click on the website above for information on reporting or call Childhelp® (800-422-4453) for assistance.

South Dakota

Click on the website above for information on reporting or call Childhelp® (800-422-4453) for assistance.

Tennessee
Toll-Free: (877) 237-0004

 

Texas
Department of Family and Protective Services
Toll-Free: (800) 252-5400

 

Utah
Toll-Free: (855) 323-3237

 

Vermont
After hours: (800) 649-5285

 

Virginia
Toll-Free: (800) 552-7096
Local (toll): (804) 786-8536

 

Washington
TTY: (800) 624-6186
Toll-Free: (800) 562-5624
(866) END-HARM (866-363-4276)

 

West Virginia
Toll-Free: (800) 352-6513

 

Wisconsin

Click on the website above for information on reporting or call Childhelp® (800-422-4453) for assistance.

Wyoming

Click on the website above for information on reporting or call Childhelp® (800-422-4453) for assistance.

The above list of state child abuse reporting numbers is courtesy of the Child Welfare Information Gateway.