HOW AND WHERE TO REPORT CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
Certain professionals, due to their contact or work with children, have special responsibilities. These people are called mandated reporters and are required by law to report suspected child abuse. PCAR, local sexual assault centers, the Family Support Alliance, and local Child Protective Service agencies can provide professionals with trainings on responsibilities.
Anyone can make a report of child abuse – you don’t have to be a mandated reporter. You can make a report as a ‘permissive reporter’—acting as a concerned neighbor, friend, family member, or witness. A report can be made anonymously; however it is helpful to have the name and phone number of the reporter if additional information and clarification are needed during the investigation. There are legal protections in place for people who report.
You do not need to prove the abuse is happening to make a report. It is important to trust that feeling in your stomach or the back of your mind. Each of us has the power to create safer, more respectful, and healthier communities. Each of us has the power to protect children from all forms of abuse.
You can report suspected child abuse by calling CHILDLINE at 1-800-932-0313. Childline will provide information, counseling, and referral services for families and children to ensure the safety of the children of Pennsylvania.
If you are not sure what to do, call the HERO Hotline, 1-877-874-HERO, to talk to a trained sexual assault counselor. The counselor can answer your questions and help you feel more confident in your decision.
What is the HERO Project?
HERO, a project of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, is a community-based, media-driven, child sexual abuse prevention program designed to educate and motivate adult community members to call the 24-hour HERO Hotline if they suspect child sexual abuse.