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Every person in the state of Indiana is legally required to report suspected child abuse. If you suspect a child is being abused, immediately contact your local law enforcement agency or the Department of Child Services Hotline.
Arcadia Police Department 984-5662
Atlanta Police Department 765-292-2626
Carmel Police Department 571-2500
Cicero Police Department 984-3648
Fishers Police Department 595-3328
Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department 776-9887
Noblesville Police Department 776-6371
Sheridan Police Department 758-2500
Westfield Police Department 896-3034
Department of Child Services Hotline 1-800-800-5556
How should I respond if a child discloses abuse to me?
- Remain calm and listen to the child.
Reassure the child....
- I believe you
- You did the right thing by telling me
- It's not your fault
Get the basic details of the abuse, but don't ask too many in-depth questions - the child may later be involved in a forensic interview and it is best to leave those details for the professional investigative team to discuss with the child. Questions you should ask include:
- What happened? (a basic overview of the abuse)
- Who did it?
- When did it happen?
- Where did it happen?
- Make sure the child is safe and not in contact with the alleged abuser.
- Immediately contact your local law enforcement agency or the Department of Child Servies (above).
What shouldn’t I do if a child discloses abuse to me?
- Do not react with panic, anger or other strong emotions.
- Do not ask too many detailed questions about the abuse.
- Do not challenge or act like you don’t believe the child.
- Do not conduct your own investigation or attempt to confirm the child’s report.
- Do not keep it to yourself – you are legally required to report suspected abuse.
- Do not ask the child to repeat the disclosure to other family members or friends – the child should next speak only with members of a professional investigative team.
- Do not lie or make promises about what may or may not happen next.
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