If you feel a child in your family or social circle is being subjected to some form of abuse and/or neglect and you are not certain or do not feel ready to report the abuse to the authorities (link to legal advice), there are steps you can take that will help you decide how to proceed.
Talk to the child
Most children who are subjected to some form of abuse find it difficult to talk about it. They might not have anyone they can trust. If you care for the child you suspect is being abused (perhaps the child is a neighbour, relative, son or daughter of a friend, classmate of your own child, etc.) and are able to, then try to build a relationship of trust with it. Talk to it and continue to do so and keep in contact with it. It might come to you voluntarily to ask for help, or talk to you.
Keep a diary
Keep a diary of your concerns and of the child’s behaviour. Refer to your notes so as to establish what is going on and in what ways the child’s behaviour might be changing. Try to detect any worrying signs.
Talk to the child’s teacher or pediatrician
If you feel that the signs are alarming, confirm this by consulting their teacher or pediatrician. Inform them of your concerns.
Talk to other people
Share your worries with someone you trust so as to have the benefit of another perspective and determine whether they share your concerns. You may then feel more certain and confident as to the next steps you should take.
Talk to us
We are here to listen to you. Call ELIZA and one of our expert associates will offer you support and advice. You can contact us anonymously if that would make you feel more comfortable. You can also call one of our child abuse helplines.