What To Do When You Suspect Child Abuse

Thanks! Share it with your friends!

Close

Dear “And You Will Have Kids”,

I read that you are an abuse survivor.  My soon to be ex is also abusive.  I suspect that he is now abusing the children during his visitation periods.  I don’t know what to do or how to protect my children.  Please help!

Concerned

Dear Concerned:

I am so sorry to hear about your situation.  You don’t mention the type of abuse you suspect.  Is it emotional, physical, or sexual?  I’m going to give a general overview of these situations.

If you have any reason to be concerned about your children, and you suspect abuse, you can make a call to your local child protective agency.  You don’t have to leave your name, and you can inquire about your concerns.  If they feel that your concerns are of merit, they may decide to open a case.

If your child is in extreme physical pain, or seriously hurt, you should take him or her to the emergency room.  Mention your concerns and ask that the doctor’s document them.  If your child mentions sexual abuse to you, it’s important that you take him or her to the emergency room to see if any evidence can be gathered.

Before going off to the ER, I’d call your child’s physician as well to ask for advice and to again document the incident.  Your child’s doctor may ask to see the child in the office, or they may suggest taking him or her to the ER.

If you suspect that your child is being emotionally abused, I’d suggest documenting it with her physician.  The doctor should be able to give you more advice from there. 

It’s very important to get your children into counseling of some sort.  The counselor should discern if there is abuse going on.  They will also document any signs of abuse that they see.  If your child becomes very anxious or very depressed, the counselor can also recommend coping skills. 

In addition, a good counselor should be able to help you to “abuse proof” your child.  This means that the counselor will give your child techniques and ideas to stay safe.  He will also help your child with strategies for keeping safe if the situation becomes unsafe.  This is so important to discuss safety concerns, but it’s also important to discuss these things with someone who is a trained professional.  The idea is to prepare your children without scaring them.

I wish you and your children the very best during this difficult time.

Comments

Why would you call child protective services for your own failure to protect your child? If you suspect your child is being abused or neglected, get off your fat ass and beat down whoever is doing it. Get your people together and handle it, or your child will be taken from you and eventually put up for adoption after you go through a life of hell. Your advice is like calling the police to report yourself for drunk driving before you leave the bar!

Michelle says:

Thanks for posting your opinion.

My advice is from personal experience. It would be nice if the world worked like you say, but it doesn’t–at least in the country where I live. I’ve wished many times it was as simple as “calling my people”. It isn’t.

Beating people down is only going to land you in jail for assault and battery…and then your child will be taken from you and either placed in the system or given to the abuser. I’ve seen it happen.

Sadly, proving child abuse means documenting, etc. etc. It means working with the proper authorities and calling CPS.

Children are abused in many situations. It can happen anywhere, and not all abuse occurs because a parent failed to protect their child.

Again, I thank you for reading the blog and also for posting.

Your advice is like calling the police to report yourself for drunk driving before you leave the bar!

I don’t see that reference. I know of many divorced couples (and unmarried couples) that have court-ordered visitation rights and/or alimony and/or child support requirements both from relatives and ex/current clients. I have no children myself.

While I think it would be a sad day if one of the parties were to start making claims to better his/her position in the court ordered document (visitation, support, etc) .. if there is a legitimate suspicion of abuse to a child .. I would think it is worth the risk of reporting it (even if the offendor is not so evident).

If you are accused, and innocent – it may give you days of hell – but you will eventually be vindicted (won’t you?) officially and stop the hearsay. If you are the accused, and guilty – the sooner the better to stop the abuse.

Zoe Johnston says:

Why would you call child protective services for your own failure to protect your child? If you suspect your child is being abused or neglected, get off your fat ass and beat down whoever is doing it. Get your people together and handle it, or your child will be taken from you and eventually put up for adoption after you go through a life of hell.

Really? That’s fine advice if you’d like your child to be removed from you, placed in the full custody of the abuser, and don’t forget, it’s up to you to prove that the abuse is occurring. You, the freshly-convicted violent offender.

People who abuse their own kids don’t respond to normal negative reinforcement like the rest of us do. A beatdown will only convince them that you’ve been out to kill them all along, while they’re nothing but the innocent victim–and they will run right to the police to be protected from you.

So good luck with your method. Violence is always a good way to swing the legal system your way.

Write a comment

*

*