Why it is important to report abuse
You realise that the child living next door is being maltreated. Very often it begs for help, very often it cries or even screams, in many instances it is standing outside the door of the hοuse asking its mother to let it in, other times it is wondering around late at night or its clothes are dirty and torn. Even so, you find it hard to report your concerns. You shrink from talking about it except to your intimate family circle, perhaps not even to them.
You may worry that maybe you are mistaken. Perhaps you do not want to make trouble for anyone, whether a member of your family or a third party. You may also feel that your voice will not be heard or will not be believed.
But what will happen if you fail to report your concerns or suspicions?
If you do NOT share your concerns, you are abandoning a child at risk, allowing it to continue suffering abuse. Your intervention, your denunciation, can become the first step for protecting that child, for ensuring it receives the support it needs. Every child, every young person, deserves to be safe.
You don’t have to be certain. You don’t have to know for sure. You need to share your concerns. You may be mistaken. But maybe you are not. Call one of the telephone lines to receive support and learn about the next steps. If you report your suspicions to the police you might learn that other people have also expressed concern for the same child, and feel that your voices are united in asking that it be “rescued”. If the situation persists, persevere. Ask for legal advice. Call ELIZA. No child must remain unprotected. Be among the people who unite their voices in demanding “Zero Tolerance for Child Abuse”.