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What Should I do if I Suspect a Child is Being Abused?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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There are very strict laws for reporting child abuse if you are a counselor, a teacher, a medical professional, an employee of a school district, or a law enforcement worker. For the average person, however, these laws do not apply, and as a result, most people don’t know what to do if they suspect that a neighbor’s child, a friend of your child, or a child of a friend may be being abused. Ethically, most feel that they should report abuse if they suspect it, and this is generally a good guideline to follow.

Reporting child abuse is anonymous, so you usually do not need to fear repercussions from your report. Normally, you can report it to your local child protection agency, or to the police department, if you feel relatively certain that a child is being abused. Signs of abuse might include the child having frequent injuries, or you hearing extremely abusive language or seeing physical abuse directed at a child. You might also want to report suspicion of severe child neglect, such as kids being left without supervision at a very young age, seeming physically unwell all the time, or appearing starved or malnourished.

When reporting suspected abuse or neglect of a child, its important to give the authorities as much information as possible. If you know the child's age, name, or can recall incidences where the child appeared to have suffered from abuse or neglect, these should all be reported. It's also important to remember that not all suspicious activity indicates child abuse. Some kids are extremely skinny and eat very well. A child who is unsupervised once may be the result of extraordinary circumstances. Children that seem chronically ill may have ongoing medical conditions, and some are also prone to a high number of accidents.

In other words, simply because you suspect abuse, that doesn’t mean it is occurring. On the other hand, if you have actually witnessed a child being abused, either verbally or physically, or if you have witnessed incidences of domestic violence in a home, a child is more at risk. Also, if you notice patterns of behavior, like frequently being outside unsupervised or young children being left unsupervised, you should report it.

Sometimes, our own standards of parenting are higher than another parent’s. A parent occasionally yelling at a kid may be unacceptable to you, but is not necessarily a reason to report it as abuse. A parent always screaming at a kid, on the other hand, is verbal abuse, and warrants a call to the local child protective agency.

There are some occasions when you should report suspected child abuse immediately to emergency services rather than to the child protective agency. If you witness a child being abused, or you perhaps hear a domestic violence fight that is ongoing in a home next door, you should call police immediately. You should also waste no time in reporting it if you hear the child being threatened with physical violence. You still can remain anonymous, though you may need to meet with the police if suspected abuse has occurred. A child in immediate danger needs your help right away, however, and it is not a subject to mull over for a few days.

It can be difficult to take on the role of neighborhood watchdog or be the person who “tells.” We’re often told as children that “tattling” is wrong, but children have little protection in an abusive environment. They may not be able to report incidents themselves, or they may be so used to the abuse that they do not realize what they are experiencing is criminal and wrong. Stepping in and reporting it can initiate an investigation, which may help to ensure the safety of children.

What you should avoid is direct confrontation of the abuser. This could put you at potential risk, especially in cases of spousal abuse. It could also tip off an abuser, who would then have time to cover his or her tracks and threaten the children not to tell. Talking to the child, unless you are a professional, is also not a good idea. You might risk the child's safety if he or she confides in you, and then lets this slip to his or her abuser.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon1006200 — On Feb 12, 2022

My 6-year-old was bitten in the face by a dog while in foster care, and the judge, lawyer and case worker never reported this. My child was never treated by a doctor, and CPS still has her in the foster house even now. I finished all service plans and they still have not returned my children! Help.

By anon1002081 — On Aug 31, 2019

I'm scared that my nine year old little sister is being abused and I'm 15 and I really don't know what to do. Please help me.

By anon1001933 — On Jul 30, 2019

My granddaughter told me that her step-mother has been hitting her, and her 2 siblings and they have gone to bed with eating. I asked my son and he said that my granddaughter lies, my 3 year old grandson, had a paper cut in his eye and he showed me how the step-mother smacked him, again, I asked my son. Well, now they don't let them come to my house. I fear that one day she is really going to hurt one of them. What can I do? Please help. They want to come live with me. I know that they are going through a lot of verbal and perhaps physical abuse too. Please help.

By Dburns70 — On Oct 20, 2015

@amypollick, Post 11: Not saying all child services are useless, but the one in my county is. They went to visit the home, stayed 30 minutes and said all was good and closed the case. I say get a lawyer! The system is screwed up. They only protect if they come in and see a black eye or bloody nose! Sometimes they even make an appointment with the parent before they come over, so the parent can straighten up the house, get the child in its lap and read a book (depending on their age). Child Services in my opinion is useless!

By Dburns70 — On Oct 20, 2015

@anon332382: Call the police! Your life would be better anywhere, other than in this abuse!

By Dburns70 — On Oct 20, 2015

@anon331587: Get a lawyer!

By Dburns70 — On Oct 20, 2015

@anon343796: Report them to Child Services or the Police!

By Dburns70 — On Oct 19, 2015

I am at my wit's end. I have a great niece and her Mother is living with a man and his two kids. My great niece has told her Dad and others, the two kids lock her in a room while the Mom and boyfriend are gone. The Mom threatens my great niece with spankings. My great niece lives with her great grandmother and has told us all she doesn't want to go to her Mom's house, but my great niece is 8.

What can we do? I have tried to get child services involved, but they went out and stayed 30 minutes and said all looked fine and closed the case. She has also had head lice three times after being over there. She has turned from an outgoing, funny and loving child to scared to death! She also shows signs of OCD. Help!

By anon992319 — On Aug 30, 2015

What to do when no one would help. I was 14 years old when my cousin abused and killed her 3 year old son. My grandchildren's mom is abusive to one of the boys and not the other. That's sad when a child has to be physically emotionally and half dead before someone intervenes. These poor kids don't have a voice, and the adult refused to be their voice when they know the kids are being abused some kind of way.

Shame on America; they always want a job protecting the kids or leading our government. Voting is just a joke and our kids are just game pieces in society.

By anon989597 — On Mar 13, 2015

Could anyone help me by giving advice on what to do please? I work as a volunteer in a Nursery School, and I have witnessed the Head Teacher shouting and yelling at a child just in front of his face (like nose to nose), then holding his chin and putting his food into his mouth against his will as he did not want to eat. It was horrible! Other teachers who were present at that time just pretended they did not see it! Please help! The child has special needs and does not speak!

By anon938278 — On Mar 08, 2014

As a physician, if a distraught friend tells me her 13 year old granddaughter is pregnant, what are my reporting requirements? She has already sought legal counsel to find out her options. The sex was consensual. (No rape or coersion; she lied about her age.) My friend seriously needs a friend to talk to whom she can trust while she works this through. Can I be a friend?

By anon923920 — On Dec 31, 2013

@anon923917: You don't have to be 16 to help your brother. When you get back to school, talk to a teacher or counselor you trust and tell that person what is going on.

These people are called "mandated reporters," which means if they hear of a child being abused, they are required by law to report it, even if they doubt whether it's true. I'm not saying you're not telling the truth. I'm just letting you know that whether the teacher actually thinks it's true or not doesn't matter; they are required by law to contact the police or children's services.

Please talk to someone you trust about this. It sounds like you are in a bad situation. Good luck.

By anon923917 — On Dec 31, 2013

My little brother (4 years old) has been hit many times so hard that he has scratches on his face bruising. I'm under the age of 16, so I don't now how to help.

One day my brother was playing and he did something wrong and it got my step mom so mad that she smacked him. She took him upstairs and in their room, where she hit him again and closed the door on him with the lights off. He was crying so loud.

I wanted to yell at her but I didn't. A few minutes after that, my brother peeked out of the room and I waved my hand to come to me. He ran to my arms and he cried. I held him and told him no matter what, I would be here for him, that I love him and held him in my arms till he wasn't crying anymore. We sat there and watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse until he had to go to bed. I don't know what to do. Help me, please. Is there anything I can do to help him?

By anon357545 — On Dec 04, 2013

@anon220910: I'm 14 too. I have the same problems as you. Except my brother is 4 years older, so he just went to college.

What helped me with getting my brother to stop abusing me was to find a common interest, or get him to talk about himself or friends. It distracts them from thinking about screaming at you. They just need some attention, I think. It worked for me.

Also, for dad, I started bonding with him. Like going running with him or getting lunch. Ask to do something he wants to do. Not only does it get your mom off your back because you’re already with your dad, it also seemed to give my dad a voice so he isn't as quiet. He started standing up for me more. It’s all about learning how to bond with them.

Also remember that your friends and family do love you. They wouldn't be so mean if they didn't. I've self harmed before and the first thing I did after is cry on the phone to my best friend for an hour. Usually you just need to hear that people need you.

Do some volunteer work. Since I started helping out in nursing homes, I feel needed and appreciated more than ever and I’m almost never depressed unless I have a panic attack or something. And this is coming from a girl who is concussed, has finals next week, crammed with make up work, and is expected to have straight A's. It’s definitely possible to be happy under the worst of conditions. Watch “Chasing Mavericks.” This movie changed my perspective on things. I hope this helps even the slightest bit. Good luck.

By anon350294 — On Oct 03, 2013

I witnessed a little boy (2 or 3 years, I'd guess) sitting with a couple I assumed to be his parents in a restaurant. He was being slapped so hard for not eating by the male parent that it knocked him over. He sat back up and looked like he was going to cry, but then looked at the guy, looked scared and didn't. The woman did not respond at all. It was like she was disconnected from the whole thing. I was really upset by it, and felt scared for the little boy, but didn't know what to do. What should I have done?

By anon349844 — On Sep 30, 2013

I know a mother and son. The mother is 46 while the son is only 14 but they are having sex. What do I do with information like this, especially since she is my landlord. Should I care about it or not all and just ignore which is hard, when I hear everything? Please help me ease my mind.

By anon348496 — On Sep 17, 2013

I just recently started taking care of two little boys. Right away, I noticed the older one was very aggressive and likes to hurt his younger brother. He will hug him and pinch him on the side so it looks like he is just hugging him. He will watch for me to turn around and will sit on him, push toys into his head, or hit him. I have to constantly be right on him. The past few days he has told me a few stories about his mother and I'm not sure if he is just being a four year old telling stories or if they are true.

He tells stories like his mother went after him with a knife, telling him she was going to cut him if he didn't go to his bed, to his mother is stinky because she was throwing the two year old brother on the couch because he was crying and when he didn't stop, she threw him across the room onto the chair, to his mother slaps him when he is in the basement doing silly things and she slapped him so hard she made a hole that blood came out of and he had to wash his face because red water was going into his eyes. He has also said his mother took him to the store and told him he was going to stay there because she wants to run away and she is going to sell him!

When do you report? Is it just a story or is there something to it?

By rjack28 — On Aug 22, 2013

My little cousins' mother lives with a child molester, who is also their father.

They pretty much disowned their eldest daughter after she took her father to court for the sexual abuse she'd gone through as a child, which he got away with.

I can only ever talk to the second eldest of my cousins through skype and in one of our discussions, she said some things that hinted at her father's controlling nature. but never directly states anything about sexual/physical abuse, but I know something's going on because my second eldest cousin is so emotionally withdrawn. She also draws and the things she draws are often gruesome and bloody, which is unsettling considering that she's only 14.

She's told me that she's been to a psychologist but it didn't work because the psychologist told her that she didn't want to get better, so from this I know that she's not going to seek help if he actually is molesting her.

I've copied things she says into a word document because they reference her parents and her psychological problems in order to have enough worthy of showing to the police, but I'm worried that if I do show them that they'll just use her family breaking apart to justify it. What should I do?

By anon343997 — On Aug 04, 2013

I have a 14 month old baby, and both myself and my little one's father work. So I would usually pay my "friend" that I knew since high school watch him. The friend who watches him also has a little boy a little over two years old.

I never really had any problems with her babysitting my son up until recently.

I usually pay her $20 to babysit, but this time around, I was going to be gone for most of the day, so I had agreed to pay her $50, but when she came by to pick him up, I knew something was wrong because before I even handed my son over to her, my son started crying and screaming and was really just shaken up. He normally doesn't act out like that, especially with people he already knows.

Later on, when she had dropped my son off, she had told me there had been an incident and that her two year old had bitten my son. I know that two year olds tend to bite, so I wasn't too upset about it at first -- that is, until I actually saw the bite marks on his cheek. He also had a bruise on the side of his head that never got explained, and then later that night when I was getting him ready for a bath, I noticed that he had scratch marks up and down his back.

I sent her message pretty much telling her that I wanted the $50 back and I sent her pictures of the injuries. I told her that if she doesn't give the money back that we (my son's father and myself) would take further actions. I got a reply back saying that she isn't giving the $50 back and that "It's called a two year old and a 1 year old playing together" and that the only incident she saw was the bite mark.

I'm taking my son to be examined by a doctor and then I'm going to the police. My question is does anyone think that the police will be able to help in this situation? I really feel like she neglected my son when he was in her care and that she allowed her son to rough house with my one year old who by the way isn't even walking or standing yet.

My son also has a two year old cousin that he sometimes plays with, but his cousin has never bitten him or played roughly with him.

I don't understand how she can think that its acceptable to allow her child to act like that. If I have to take her to court then I will, because it's ridiculous that she refused to give back the money that I gave her to watch my child when she didn't even watch him, she sent him home with bite marks, bruises and scratch marks.

By anon343800 — On Aug 02, 2013

I'm a 14 year old male teen. My parents divorced and I live with my mom and my stepfather, but I visit my father at his parents' house on certain weekends and during the month of July. He forgot his phone so I brought it to him at his house. I also have a three year old half sister who is his daughter.

I brought him the phone in his house and there was junk, bugs, trash and overall clutter everywhere. The smell was horrible, and when I gave him the phone I told him he needed to clean up. He said he knew and told me not tell anyone in a threatening voice.

I am very worried for my life and that of my sister (I have another 10 year sister who visits like me) if I tell anyone and/or call the police or CPS. I am also worried how this will affect my half sister's life and if she will go to a foster home.

Let's get this straight: I absolutely hate my father. I just want some advice before I call the authorities. I just want to know will somebody be there for my baby sister when I call the cops.

By anon343796 — On Aug 02, 2013

I'm 16 years old and I do everything for my mum: cook, clean and look after my younger siblings. My mum and I don't get on very well, and she beats me up so badly after an argument I run away, but somehow she always convinces me to go back.

I want to just go but she is locking me in and I'm scared if I do go she will abandon my little brothers and sister. Do I report her and then the kids go in care or do I keep quiet? Help.

By anon332382 — On Apr 28, 2013

I am 14 and have a bipolar mother. She has grabbed me by my wrist, yelled hateful things at me and my sister, chased me around the house until I hid in the bathroom and then she still managed to open it and the door hit me, hit the back of my head. She has locked my sister outside of the car in the freezing weather for 30 minutes, threatening to leave her there while we return to Georgia. Is she abusing us, and should I call child support?

By anon331587 — On Apr 23, 2013

I need help! I have a cousin who mistreats her son. She has a boyfriend that lives with them and she lets him verbally abuses him and also physically abuse him. My cousin yelled at her son and hits him really bad just for getting his grades down from an A to a C sometimes. Her son has ran away twice and when he comes home, he gets physically abused and once she even let her boyfriend hold her son down while she punished him. Once she also tried shocking her son just because he tried to defend himself from her boyfriend.

I would like to know what I should do. I would not like to call CPS on her because I would not like him to be taken by the government. I would rather take him in my home.

By anon331570 — On Apr 23, 2013

I know a woman who constantly leaves her two year old unattended to the point where he has run into the road. She is also married to a man who has been very violent in the past but who she claims has "reformed".

Most recently she has spoken about her parenting style and says she spanks her toddler, but by her description it does not sound like spanking, it sounds like abuse. She is spanking him numerous times per day and because he got into things due to her neglect. Should I report this?

By anon317569 — On Feb 02, 2013

My girlfriend is being physically abused by her uncle and is afraid to report him because she's done it already and they said the next time it happens she'll be sent to live with her dad who does the same so she doesn't do anything.

I just want to know is there a way that instead of her leaving that they can just send the uncle to jail instead of her leaving?

By anon316944 — On Jan 31, 2013

I have two granddaughters, ages 7 and 8. My daughter has custody but they go to their father's house every first, third and fifth weekend. They have always told us about things that are happening to them at the hands of a stepmother.

There are more children in that home, also -- all boys. CPS has been called several times and both father and stepmother have been investigated and then the case was closed. I have a great fear that something is going to happen to my granddaughters, but have no control over the matter.

My daughter is unable to do anything since CPS says everything is fine. Not only are they neglected, but they are also abused by the boys in that home. The stepmother stays in her room all day and has told the girls that they are not allowed in there but all the boys go in and watch TV.

I just want to say that there is no justice for the children and that the state of Texas does not protect our children!

By anon311570 — On Jan 02, 2013

If a child tells a grandparent that their mum is hitting them and they don't want to go home, what should the grandparent do?

By anon308607 — On Dec 11, 2012

I need help. My daughter has custody of her children and they just informed me they have to sleep on the floor like a dog. The house is infested with fleas and they are getting eaten alive.

The doctor called child services and the investigator went in and said the kids are fine! I have trouble with this because a parent no longer needs to have a bed for her children and you can let fleas eat your children? Please, someone give me help on what I can do to get the kids out of this house.

By ihatemylife — On Jul 17, 2012

@amypollick: I called the police about the whole thing and they did nothing about it. I honestly don't know what else to do. My friend and I are in danger. When the police came to the house they just asked what's going on, and she denied it all. She stalks me in my own house now, like literally. It's getting really bad.

I don't know what else to do, other than to run away, and never come back with my friend, because she wants to leave her house, and wants me to go with her. Maybe that would be the best thing for now? Who knows?

By amypollick — On Jul 10, 2012

@ihatemylife: O.K. Now it's serious. Is there another adult who doesn't live in your house whom you trust? If so, have that adult call family and children's services and report the abuse. By law, the department has to check it out.

Your other option is, if your friend's mother threatens you or puts her hands on you in any way, is to call 911 and say she's threatening you, has put her hands you, your mother isn't home and you can't get out of the house. The police *have* to respond to a 911 call. But don't let her know you called. Don't say a word about it. Just do it and wait for the police to show up.

The truth is, there's probably no way to get out of this situation without making people mad, probably including your mom. You have to be willing to face the fact that you might get in really big trouble about this, but if this woman is making threats against you and her daughter, you may not have a choice.

Don't confront this woman any more. She's obviously mentally unbalanced and dangerous. Stay away from her. If you've been sort of quietly provoking her, just to get under her skin, stop it. That won't help your case with the police. It might make you feel better, but it also labels you as a troublemaker and does nothing to help your friend. I'm not saying you've been doing that, but it's not uncommon. Don't do anything that makes you look like you're stirring the pot.

If she threatens you, go to another room, call 911 and wait. Don't threaten her in return, or anything like that. Do not become the aggressor in any way. Just wait on the police.

By ihatemylife — On Jul 10, 2012

@amypollick: We have tried that many times, and the cops said they would do something about it, and never did. I'm more than desperate to help my friend, and I don't know how else to help her, other than to possibly have her run away but, she won't, because she doesn't want to leave me behind, and possibly get hit by her mother because her daughter is missing.

Anyway, yesterday we were at my house, and her mother was there, and I was cleaning up my kitchen, and I dropped a spoon and it hit her foot, and she literally grabbed my by the collar of my shirt, and told me if I ever pull another thing like that again, I won't be seen for a long time. So, me being the cocky 16 year old I am said, "What are you going to do, hit me? Oooh, that's really going to hurt!" and she replied with, "I won't hit you to make it hurt, I'll hit you to make it kill!" then she let go of me, and I hit the floor in shock, and my friend came out, and asked what happened, and I just said "your mom" and she picked me up, and took me out back, and we didn't go back into my house until my mother got home (which was at like 12-1 a.m) I told my mom what happened, and she asked her about it, and she denied it all, and my mom grounded me for two weeks, and I have to pretty much live with my friend's mother, in my house. I'm scared for my life, because now she is after me.

By amypollick — On Jul 09, 2012

@ihatemylife: Does your friend have any visible bruises or anything that indicates recent abuse? If so, take photos of them with your cell phone, if you have one, and go to the police station. Don't just call them. If they go to her house, her mother will just tell the cops someone is lying, and your friend will be too scared to admit to the abuse in front of her mom.

So, go to the police station and ask to speak to the officer who handles domestic violence and child abuse cases. Show him or her your cell phone photos and tell the officer about how her mom has threatened you and has talked about killing her daughter if she thought she could get away with it. Get a parent or trusted adult friend to go with you.

My impression is that your friend is in grave danger, and I think the police will probably see it the same way. They can call family and children's services and have your friend legally removed from the home, and they can arrest her mother for abuse.

Good luck and I'll keep you all in my prayers.

By ihatemylife — On Jul 09, 2012

My friend is scared to go home. Her mom has been hitting her with a closed fist for three years, and I don't know how to help her. Her mom has threatened to beat my butt several times, and I'm only 16.

All I have to do is try and help my friend, and her mom like flips out on me, and I don't know what else to do. Her mom has raised her hand to me many times, and it was because I tripped over my dog. I've seen her mom hit her, and I've heard her mom say that if she had the chance, and get away with it, she would kill her daughter. I don't know what else to do. Should I stand up to her mother, or call the cops, or what? Help me?

By concerned47 — On Mar 21, 2012

We have been having problems with our 19 year old since he turned 13. Last Saturday, we decided to sit down and talk to him regarding what are his plans and what is going on with him.

He has been smoking weed since he was 13, was kicked out of school and now is at an adult school, not working, etc. He told us he had been molested by his first cousin from the time he was eight years old until he was 12, and it just stopped after that. Now I want to make sure this is true, because my son has lied to us many many times. If this is true it will rip our family apart and we have a very close relationship with our extended family.

I just need to know the right questions to ask him so I know he is telling the truth. Thank you for your time.

By anon250651 — On Feb 27, 2012

I recently found out that my 12 year old niece is pregnant. The mother has custody but has never been a mother to the children. The judge ruled in her favor even after he caught her lying.

The father has been a great father, stable, family vacation, etc. He is a great dad. I contacted CPS in South Dakota and they said they cannot help me with this. I am afraid this pregnancy will harm her and I am scared for her.

Is there anything or anyone who can help me with this situation? I don't have much time. She is six months along.

By anon249696 — On Feb 21, 2012

I have two stepdaughters and they live with their mother, stepfather and another sister. I have always known of the mother abusing her daughters.

My stepdaughters tell me how their mom is always mean to them and that she's always hitting them with belts and a paddle that the stepfather made for the mother to hit them with. Just two days ago, the stepfather slapped my stepdaughter's sister on the face in public. Nobody reported it to the police department or anything.

I decided to call child protective services and let them know about the abuse. I was told by CPS that there isn't much they can do since there wasn't a police report made. They need some kind of proof that the child is being abused. How do I prove it when i don't see them but every two weeks?

I always check for bruises, but as of yet, I haven't seen any. The girls continue to tell me that their mother hits them and when it's time for them to go back home after visitation, they cry and scream because they don't want to go back there. I also contacted their school through a email and let them know what's going on. I hope they take it seriously and they keep a close eye on the girls. I don't know what else to do to get these girls help.

By anon248311 — On Feb 16, 2012

Is it possible for a pediatrician to examine a 22 month old baby and determine that the child is being verbally and physically abused by the sitter when the child is not able to talk and there are no physical signs of abuse?

By anon244561 — On Feb 01, 2012

@anon130003, Post 36: That's horrible. I live in a little town in Manitoba too, by the way.

By anon224058 — On Oct 21, 2011

I'm afraid that a 5-year-old girl might be getting abused by her grandmother. But I have no evidence or proof because I haven't been around the girl in months and I have never seen her together with the grandma. I hear this all from the step-grandmother.

Apparently the grandmother had a 45 minute standoff with the little girl in the bathroom. The grandma said it was because the child didn't wipe her bottom correctly. I wonder if something worse is going on? She tells the step-grandma she hates her grandmother, but she doesn't say she touches her or hits her. I don't know what to do.

By anon223568 — On Oct 19, 2011

My best friend has been beaten by her mother many times, but she is afraid that if she contacts CPS about it they will take her away from her little sister and take her out of the school district, away from her friends.

By anon220910 — On Oct 09, 2011

I am only 14 and yet I hate my life.

My father doesn't really care too much, and has a huge fear of confrontation. Then my mother is constantly on my back, making sure she knows exactly where I am and what exactly I'm doing every second of my life.

Then my brother is severely verbally abusive to me. He's three years older than me and calls me all the names you can think of. My mother pretends not to hear and my father is never home. He works from 5 a.m.- 5 p.m. It's then hard because I have to maintain all of my friends and my grades. They put this huge pressure on me to do my best when I have no support or love coming from this family. It has just pushed me into a state of depression and self harm.

I don't know if this would be a valid reason to call C.P.S., so this is why I'm posting.

By anon218671 — On Sep 29, 2011

I just want to tell anyone on here considering calling dss, dcf, cps: if you call and say, for example, your husband is beating your son, they will take your children and say you're neglectful for allowing it to happen!

Those people are evil! The victimize the people who have been abused! Don't call them unless you have no other choice. And if you do call, consult a lawyer first! They pretend to be your friend and ally but then show their true colors. And if they support neglect or abuse on your spouse, they will go to your home and start questioning your parenting skills and they will twist everything you say and will steal your children!

By anon209495 — On Aug 26, 2011

My girlfriend is getting verbally abused and getting hit by her mother. She calls her every name in the book and it's been going on for three years. We tried telling her aunt and cousin and her grandma and grandpa, but her grandma and grandpa say she is just going through some tough times, but what I think is that why would you call your daughter these names and hit her for you having a bad day at work or you being tired. Her mom tells her she doesn't like coming home to her and seeing her and that she doesn't want to be her mom anymore.

Her aunt suggested therapy and mom took it as her whole family turning against her and blames her daughter for turning her family on her and she tells her that she is never right and that her mom is always right. She also calls her things that she is not. I know because I've been to her house and her mom yells at her and calls her these things right in front of me.

I want to do something but i don't want her to get taken away to another state or city. I just want her to live with her aunt because she is nice, caring and wants her to be safe. I also want her to be safe.

By anon207745 — On Aug 21, 2011

My sister is 19 and I am 15. For the past several years, especially as a teenager, she has been violent with me and insults me with very harsh words daily. Yesterday, we had our first physical confrontation since Christmas. She cornered me and I thought she was going to press my head through a nearby glass case. I started flailing and kicking to keep her off me, but she pulled me to the ground and started clawing at my face and kicking me and calling me every name possible.

After my mother broke up the fight, she (my sister) got

angry and picked up something and bludgeoned me with it. I fell on the floor and everything was spinning. As I was screaming, I saw her over me trying to get past my mother to attack me once more. Things were quiet for a little while after that until she would get angry again and she continued attacking me on three separate occasions after that.

She threatened to literally murder me and said the only reason why I wasn't alive to begin with was because my mom had been protecting me. I ran into the bedroom and had to call my boyfriend to come and get me. I tried calling my father but no one answered. As I was waiting by the door for my ride, my angry sister left with her friend and as they were leaving, she screamed obscenities and threw ice water on me. I had to greet my boyfriend's family covered in ice water with tears and bruises on my face. I have a painful bump where my sister has hit me and although the markings are starting to fade, I've had migraines since the attack. She's done this several times before and has been assaulting me both physically and verbally for as long as I can remember.

My mother refuses to press charges and keeps insisting that my sister will be "moving out soon," which always equates to several months. She has demeaned my parents, my other sibling, and mostly for some reason, me. I begged my father to call CPS but I am scared that they won't do anything. If such is the case, I will have to resort to moving in with other relatives. I can't keep living like this and I really don't want to move.

No matter what my sister says or does to me, I still love her and I always will. I just really need an alternative solution.

By anon206019 — On Aug 15, 2011

I just found out tonight that my 17 year old son is doing drugs, drinking, smoking, running wild, having sex, etc. About seven years ago when his father and I separated, I gave my son the choice of who he wanted (out of guilt trips from his dad he chose him) I put my pride aside and honored that. Now I live in another state and he is with me this summer.

I do not want to send him back since this is what is happening there. I don't want a kidnapping charge on me and when I called CPS, all they said is do I have proof of where the drugs and alcohol are coming from. I said no, I just got the info from my son's facebook account. They won't do anything. They said to contact an attorney and I already know they want thousands of dollars and I don't have that kind of money. So I don't know what to do now. please help me.

By anon204434 — On Aug 09, 2011

I am a victim of spouse abuse and my daughter of child neglect and that is why we left our home a few months back. My four year old has delays and is high-functioning autistic. She said a couple weeks after leaving her dad that he sexually abused her. Of course, I contacted the authorities immediately and have literally been getting the run around every since. He is in the Army in another state where they say there is an investigation underway. However, no one has even contacted myself or my daughter.

I do have her in therapy but what am I to do. She talks about it and gets visibly upset? I have filed for divorce and there is a no contact while the investigation is in process but I am so frustrated with the system. How can I help my daughter?

By anon177359 — On May 18, 2011

My son's friend has been coming over for the past several months. I've been noticing little hints that something has been going on in his home that wasn't good, so I decided to confront him about it.

There were three things that made me want to confront him this past weekend. The first one was that he was dropped off a mile from our home and told to walk because he was too fat and needed to walk his fat butt (they used a curse word here for butt) over to our home to lose the weight. It was about 45 degrees out, raining, and he was carrying a heavy book bag with his school books in it, and a bag with clothes. He had no umbrella, no jacket, was wearing a short-sleeved shirt and was drenched when he arrived. The second thing he said was that his mother has no newborn baby pictures of him, but that she has pictures of his two brothers, and no birth certificate for him, but has for his brothers. He looked very sad and hurt over this.

He's told us in the past that he hates his mom and family and wishes that he could stay with us. He tries to come over as much as possible and calls us many times a day. When I confronted him about my suspicions, he started crying. He's 13 and crying in front of your best friend, who is also a 13-year old boy, isn't cool to young men of that age. He told me that his mother does pot with his older brother, that she has drinking parties in which men at the party have passed out in his bed and made him sleep on the floor. She's also a dog breeder and has five or six Yorkie dogs living with her. He has stated in the past that the house was infested with fleas and during the summer months, they bite him and bite him and showed us his ankles last summer which were covered with flea bites. He also said that she hits him, scratches him, screams obscenities at him and calls him every name in the book. She doesn't take him anywhere, but she does his other two brothers.

She makes him clean the entire home by himself while the rest of them are gone or partying, and she doesn't usually let him outside. He has to stay in his room. The other brothers are allowed to go and do as they please. He's an artist and the pictures he draws are violent and evil. He says and does things to produce a "shock" response from you all the time. I did turn his mom into DFS, but they went over to his home and asked him questions in front of his mother. He denied everything because he was too scared to talk about it in front of her. After they left, she called him every name in the book.

Now she won't even let him come over to see our son (his best friend) or even talk on the phone to anyone. Basically, he's a prisoner in his own home. They pulled him out of school to ask the questions, but he wouldn't tell them then either because he's embarrassed and the principal was watching. I asked him if he thought his mother would ever kill him. His reply was, "She'll do whatever she has to to shut me up." Now what do we do? I'm afraid for him every day now that I know what I suspected all along is actually happening, but much worse than I had originally thought.

By anon171730 — On May 01, 2011

I have a situation. I am raising my 14 year old nephew, and as of five months ago, my husband's 12 year old daughter has come to live with us.

His daughter has reported that one morning my nephew was on top of her and lifted up her shirt to touch her breast. When she woke up, he ran off. I confronted him with the situation and he admitted to it. We sent him to counseling educated him about sex and everything.

A month later, he did it again. When she was dozing off he tried to again pull up her shirt and look or touch her breast. I don't know what to do.

Can he go to jail for this? Should I put him out with nowhere to go, or should I move out with him and my relationship with my husband suffers. Neither my husband nor I know what to do. any assistance could be helpful.

By anon170775 — On Apr 27, 2011

What can be done to protect a child who is constantly breathing in secondhand smoke from Marijuana?

The mother recently married a man who has a record of stabbing his former wife and smokes this drug. There are other issues, but no matter what is said, the authorities would rather believe the mother's denials. It is sad that she puts her child around this. She is not thinking of their welfare.

By anon166241 — On Apr 07, 2011

I live in Minnesota and I started seeing this woman recently who has a 8 year old little girl. To make a long story not as long, the first time I went to her residence I found out that she had a permanent house guest, who by the way, is a a heroin addict.

As time went on I noticed her mother (the child's grandmother) drinks straight vodka just about 24/7 and is also a heroin addict. And finally I found out the mother herself is a heroin addict. She frequently has different people in her apartment either drinking or doing something that has to do with drugs (either getting high, planning on how to get high -- and keep in mind I'm not talking about marijuana).

Behind random pictures and above random cabinets I found needles, burnt spoons and things like that. Frequently, the daughter witnesses her mother nodding out. Her mother shares her daughter with her husband every other week. So the times her daughter is gone she does basically the same stuff. I dated her for a while and after two weeks I had seen enough and came to this site.

So on top of all the drugs and alcohol her daughter has witnessed two different guys sleeping in her bed in the span of a couple weeks. I found out recently that the mother just got out of the hospital a few days ago because she was being treated for abscesses on her arms from shooting up incorrectly. The hospital staff all witnessed this. I can't in good conscience not say anything..what should I do? And this isn't even everything. I could go on.

By anon161626 — On Mar 20, 2011

Well, I will make this long story short! I am going to report my step-son to the local sheriff's department in the morning.

After my daughter's fine arts gallery show, I took her and my middle daughter to lunch. My daughter said when you leave us with our brother (16) he hurts us. I sat there and asked how does he hurt you? My daughter says he puts her and her other sister in scissor holds (she is 7! and frail like me) she said he squeezes us so hard we can’t breathe! His father (my husband) is overseas.

Then he was tossing the baby (14 months old) in the air and almost dropped her and he knows already she doesn't like that because I tried playing with her that way just recently and he was here and she cried hysterically. I held her and kissed her and said how sorry I was.

Anyhow, none my husband's in-laws -- none of the family wants to take him in whatsoever. Just got off the phone with my mother-in-law and she said it’s all my fault! Nice! I am going to make a report in the morning. Oh, and yes, I hung up on her!

By anon159064 — On Mar 10, 2011

I am blown away at the adults on this site that actually need to ask permission to call the authorities on child abuser and sexual offenders! Who cares if a child abuser doesn't like you?

As far as these poor children on here who are suffering at the hands of an abuser, find someone at school that you can talk to and make sure you tell him/her everything. Also insist to them that you do not want to be in that environment any longer. Don't take no for an answer when you talk to Child Protective Services. Make sure they hear what you are telling them loud and clear. Let them know you are afraid to be there since you told on the abuser. They will get you out!

By anon156847 — On Feb 28, 2011

Here's a tip: want to ruin a man's life? Just make an anonymous child abuse report about him! He'll want to kill himself in no time and is quite likely to actually do it. Won't that be great?

Anonymous reporting is just plain wrong and should be prevented by law. There is potential to cause enormous damage to all involved - not least the child - if you make a report based on the flimsiest of suspicions. Many baseless reports occur during divorce and custody battles.

All reports should be documented and the reporter legally identified. An accused should always have the right to face their accuser in court. But fairness is quite secondary it seems when it comes to this issue. And convictions are so much easier for prosecutors to obtain.

By anon156687 — On Feb 28, 2011

First of all, I am so shocked to read all of these abusive stories and everyone is asking what to do. I have been there myself. Yes, yes, yes, call the police, call child protection and report the abuse immediately! Do not question if it is the right thing to protect a child, friend, neighbor or stranger.

It takes a village to stop abuse from happening. It takes a village to help the abusers seek help and therapy so that they can learn to control their anger and urges to abuse children. Most have been abused themselves.

By anon152293 — On Feb 13, 2011

i have reported child abuse three times and nothing was done and i don't know what else to do. the children are terrified of their mother's partner and there's domestic violence. i am aware that i am not the only person to report it, and still nothing has been done.

By anon151590 — On Feb 10, 2011

I am a 13 year old girl in California. Ever since I was a small child I remember always thinking that "mommy didn't love me" because she was always yelling at me about something.

My parents' relationship was always rocky. They often had screaming fights that lasted for hours. Then one day, when I was 12, my dad never came home from work. He had left. Months went by, and during that time my mom took to drinking heavily, and she was constantly gone shopping or at parties. When she did come home, she would scream at me and my brother and lock herself in her room.

Our house was filthy, and I was embarrassed when friends wanted to come over and there was no food in the house and no one there. My brother wandered a lot, going where he pleased. I lost weight because there was no food and I was always hungry. I begged for food from my friends at school.

Eventually I visited my dad again. I told him what had happened, and he kicked my mom out of the house and I lived there with him for a day. Then I was in art class at school and the office called and said my mom was picking me up early. She took my brother and me to a small hotel on the edge of town and yelled and screamed at us. She took the phones that our dad had bought us and told us we weren't allowed to contact anyone.

I got very sick afterward and had to go stay at my Grandma's house. A few days went by, and my Grandma told me that my parents were getting divorced. I went back home to live with my mom.

To this day I'm not sure who did, but at least one of my friend's parents called Child Protective Services on my mom. I had to go in and talk to people from CPS about my mom. That was in December. In March it will be decided if I will be taken away from my mom to live with my dad.

In the meantime, I live with my mom, but she screams at me and threatens me and calls me a liar about everything. I cry a lot and lock myself in my room, but she comes in and screams at me more.

I am so sick of waiting for someone to save me that I am considering running away. My mom is horrible to me and my brother. We get blamed for everything and screamed at. I am scared that the teachers at school might ask me to talk to them about what is going on at my house. I am scared of what my mom will do to me. Please help!

By anon149865 — On Feb 05, 2011

I live in a second level apartment and the people below us are really bad people. There is a guy who claims to be 19, a girl and her child who is 3-4 years old.

The male is always yelling at the girl and the little girl is always screaming and crying. It happens almost every night and it's loud enough for us to hear and frequently wakes our daughter up at night.

One recent really bad argument they had was about the girl cheating on the guy and being pregnant with another guys kid. This 19 year old is always swearing at her and I do believe they do drugs. I feel so sorry and angry that the little girl has to be in that sistuation because her parents don't want to grow up and be a decent person.

I don't know if I should do anything or not and if so what. I'm afraid if I did anything that they would do something to us.

I know that reporting child abuse and the like is anonymous, but they may come to their own conclusions and I'm afraid of what they might do. The adult female is just as bad as the guy and even though I don't hear either of them yelling at the little girl, I think seeing them scream at each other and treat each other the way they do is not good for her.

By amypollick — On Jan 20, 2011

@JG: You need to tell someone you trust about the abuse. Abuse lives in secrecy and shame, and bringing it to the light may be the only way to help your friend.

If you don't feel you can tell your mom, or a teacher or counselor, then try this: call the National Domestic Violence Hotline and tell them just what you've written here. It's a toll-free call and completely private. The number is 1−800−799−SAFE(7233).

You sound like a wonderful, caring friend. You may be the only person who can get her the help she needs. Please either tell an adult you trust, or call the number. Yes, it's child abuse, but it's also domestic violence and these folks can surely give you some good advice.

By anon144194 — On Jan 19, 2011

My best friend, who is 14, is getting abused every day. Her mom hits her, cusses at her, beats her in the face. My friend feels the need to fight people a lot because she wants them to feel the same way she does when her mom abuses her. She's deciding about killing herself and i love her to death, and I don't know what to do.

During school she'll even go in the bathroom and cut herself. she told me she wanted to hang herself. and every time she comes to my house, she feels so safe, and she never wants to leave my house. and every night she goes home and cries. Please help me.

I've told her I was going to call the cops, but I don't want her to get abused more, because her mom has threatened her worse if anyone finds out. I really love her, and I'm only 13. I don't know what to do! Please help me! -- JG

By anon143361 — On Jan 15, 2011

My friend just told me she believes her two girls (under five) have been sexually abused by their grandfather. One girl told mom grandpa put "lotion" on her vagina and now it hurts. They live in another country and are here visiting, but Grandpa goes overseas and visits them often. My friend is not sure what to do as they are leaving to go home soon, and I'm not sure what to do either.

By anon138851 — On Jan 02, 2011

I recently found out that my husband has been punching our seven month old in his back. He also admitted to pushing him into his mattress in his crib and dropping him in crib. He is now seeking medical help to help cope with his anger but should I call CPS and tell the. I am unsure.

By anon137290 — On Dec 27, 2010

My uncle is constantly beating his children and I have no idea what to do. Every day he does that. He pulls their hair, beats them with a stick (the stick is made of wood not as thick, but long and big about 2 cms and 9 inches long).

Help me about what to do. I really feel bad that he is doing this. I would call the police but he has a mother in a nursing home and he visits her a lot. I'm her favorite. If she finds out that he is in jail or where he will end up if i call the cops, my life would be really terrible! Please help me. Thanks!

By anon134173 — On Dec 13, 2010

I am 18 years old and my big sister is 26. she has four kids 1, 3, 5, and 7. my sister does not have a job and when she does get a job she gets fired for taking money.

I got her a job where I have been working for two and a 1/2 years and she lasted three weeks, her kids are not being taken care of, they always have on dirty clothes and I know that she hits them with a belt. I have seen it and I stop it every time but when I have, then they tell me "mommy hits us with the belt when we don't do what she wants."

Today the five year old told me that her half brother (not one that lives with them) has been touching her and I don't know what to do because I don't want to lose the kids but I don't want to leave them with my sister. I am only 18 but I have had a job for 2 1/2yrs and I'm getting married in five months. Will CPS give them to me or just take them all together?

By anon134115 — On Dec 13, 2010

I'm Justin W., age 13, and bisexual. Ever since I grew, my mom curses at me and hits me when I do something wrong. She gives me everything, but sometimes she gives me what I don't know of or want.

When it comes to doing, I can't do whatever, like rearranging my room. Every time I try to rearrange my room or clean it, she gets mad when I do something wrong. When I was cleaning my room one day, she was hitting me with a broom, threw things at me, saying things to me that would hurt me, and when I cried, she would call me the P word sometimes and tells me to stop crying.

When I turned 11, the mental abuse started. She would call me bad words and names. When I got older, the same thing happened. One day, I had sex with this guy, and got tested six months after. It turns out that I don't have an STD. My mom found out on the same day. She said that she would handle it and let this pass, but she didn't. She overreacted as the days went by. She would call me gay even though I'm not.

She said that I will get aids from oral sex and don't care. When I try to tell her about what's going on, she jumps to conclusions and says mean things like I'm having oral sex and having sex again with a plastic bag which I used when I had sex.

She keeps hitting me, and yelling at me and one day, she used the Lysol can and tried to shove it in my rectum and said I would like it. This morning, she said she had a dream about me having oral sex and getting sores all over my mouth. I got hurt from what she said to me.

I feel like she hates me and she doesn't care about me. I cut myself sometimes to release my stress. And she takes me as a joke, a joke to laugh and pick at. I feel like committing suicide but I want to live and see this world. I want to be happy and be with a happy and loving family.

If I report my mom, I'm afraid when I find another family, I won't get what I want from them. I need help!

Please help me before I do something I will kind of regret. Thank you very much.

p.s. I have a brother and she tries to use him on me.

By anon131245 — On Dec 01, 2010

My husband sexually abused both of my children. There have been physical signs such as rectal tearing and bleeding, but I am still being forced to send her back because they say they can't prove the rectal problems aren't from bowel movements, even though they have my other child's statements. What do I do?

By anon130003 — On Nov 26, 2010

I have an issue that I'm not too sure how to go about handling. My boyfriend has this ex who is a university student at u of w but she's a big partier. We've been told by his old friends and his family that she leaves their son with babysitters all the time. He didn't get to see his son for his 4th birthday so we called at 7:00. He wasn't there. He was with a babysitter and she admitted to being drunk with friends, "but he was perfectly" safe. He didn't even get to say happy birthday because his son was with a babysitter while she was "celebrating" his 4th year!

Then he came out one christmas and within the first five minutes, i noticed him pulling at his ear. I told his dad to check because he might have an ear infection. It was from an earring that the kid had since he was only one when they were still dating. It should've been healed long ago right? When my boyfriend pulled the earring out of his ear, a burst of pus came out! Then she sent him with snow pants but they were like six inches too short and his shoes were like a whole size too small. When asked why he doesn't have proper clothes for the winter, and as a result he has to stay inside and watch the kids play because we already spent our money getting my daughter everything she needed, she replied with,"Well sorry! He's a city slicker!"

He's skin and bones and refused to eat anything we cooked because he wanted mcdonalds, or a burger, or fries. He refused water or watered down juice because he wanted pop. He was two years old at the time! When we'd give them chips or watered down juice and devour them and was constantly almost choking! It was as if he was withdrawn from junk food. I am not big on junk food and to this day refuse to give my four year old girl or my one year old pop and juice is always watered down.

My sister went into the city for the day and recently brought him a burger from mcdonalds, and he literally inhaled the smell of it and ate it with his eyes closed as if he was savoring the taste! When we asked her, "Are you too lazy or something? Why doesn't he like anything but junk food ?" She replied, "Hey! Don't hate me because I can afford to eat out every day! Hahaha."

My kids are on a 7 to 8 schedule for bed. I give my kids a bath after supper, read them stories and i kiss them and tuck them into bed. This boy is so awkward with affection like a hug but he does like it, he's just really awkward, as if he doesn't know if we're serious when we want a hug!

Then just two days ago, he wanted me to put Toy Story 2 on for him. I put Ant Bully on for my son because it's his fave and he said he's not allowed to have movies. I said how come? He said "because I have treehouse!" (he has a bit of a hard time talking yet!) "no big deal right?" It was what he said next. He said, "my mom hit me really hard the bum when I make a mess!" All casually, and I hugged him and said it was all right. Daddy won't do that okay? He smiled and shook his head and ran off!

Then, that same day he was eating an apple my boyfriend peeled and cut up for him, he said, "that tastes like a drink!" My boyfriend said,"what do you mean, a drink? Like a juice box?" He shook his head and said, "Beer! Boys like beer. and girls like beer!"

This next one drove me nuts! He was dropped off with us on one night at 9:30 p.m. when we were already sleeping and when we got up and asked if he was hungry and he said yes. We warmed up some leftover spaghetti seeing as late as it was. When he wouldn't eat but said he was hungry, my boyfriend went and looked at his chin, and he had little yellow-crusted sores with thick dried-up pus around it! We washed it and put polysporin and the next day we kept cleaning it but it didn't look right we took him into the emergency and he was diagnosed with impetigo! He couldn't eat or laugh, and it didn't even take a week and we had it all healed! Makes me wonder just how long it was there!

It sounds stupid writing all of these incidents because I know it's neglect, but when i called they said they'd watch her. Instead she messaged us and tried making fun of us! She said, "haha you guys are so stupid. Bet you didn't know i work for CFS did ya?" She works for CFS summer programs and she is a university students at u of w.

He was supposed to be in preschool, as my four year old is too, and we had agreed on weekends. we told her last week we would get ready for him. She brought him that night and when sunday rolled around, she facebooked us and said she'd be back for him at the end of the month! Is that even legal to keep your kid out of school that long? Where do I start with someone who is actually going to listen. --Little town in Manitoba, Canada

By anon123429 — On Nov 01, 2010

I can hear my neighbor yelling at his children to go to sleep. We live in a duplex. These kids are two and four.

They are rarely allowed outside, but when I do see them they look all right. But at night I hear them crying at night, and he storms up the steps and roars, "stop it right now, go to sleep!" Then he hits them, and they cry and squeal and he says, "if I have to come up here again it will be harder next time". Then he slams the door and they cry more quietly. They eventually go to sleep.

I know my parenting is very different than these people, and I don't like them for other reasons, including them chain smoking on the porch and such, but I'm afraid if I call CPS they will know it's me because we are the only possible people who could know since it seems to mainly only happen at night/bedtime.

This little family (dad and mom and two kids) is living in a three bedroom with her parents and sister. I guess none of the rest of them find anything strange about this. What should I do?

By anon120791 — On Oct 22, 2010

I recently noticed my tenants' beautiful daughter always playing by herself after she comes home from school. She is seven years old. when i inquired with my other tenants they said that her mom has left her in her father's care and gone away and he locks her out of the house when she comes from school and goes back to work.

She is scared to accept food from them when he's around but she appears to be hungry, and she is seen with the same clothes close to three days at a time. Her dad and four other men live in the same house. Now I'm scared of sexual abuse happening to her being alone with them.

Apart from neglect we were unable to get to speak to her about these personal issues because we think that her dad could be watching us. She looks gorgeous like an angel. What do I and the other tenants do to help her without being caught by the dad?

I told my husband that the other tenants and I are going to investigate further to get more proof of abuse.

By anon119645 — On Oct 19, 2010

I don't know what to do. One of my best friends is being abused by her mum. I was with her over text, and she told me her mom hit her, and she was hiding in a room while her mom tried to break the lock.

I don't know if I should call or not, because I'm afraid that I'll make things worse for her. I can't see her very much, and I don't know if her dad is in the picture.

I'm really afraid for her. It kills me to just sit and do nothing, but I'm afraid that if I try to do something, I'll make things worse. Please help!

By anon114774 — On Sep 29, 2010

Help! My mom keeps hitting me with a belt because I got my report card back and I did not do very good and my dad keeps slapping me across my face! At school we were talking about child abuse and I think I should tell my teacher but my parents said that if I ever told anyone they would kick me out of the house but I'm very scared! Help!

By amypollick — On Sep 26, 2010

@anon113665: I think your concern for your friend is wonderful. Here's what I would do. I know it sounds like you're breaking her trust, but there's a way out for you. Tell your teacher, a counselor or school nurse. Before you say, "But she'll know I told and she'll be mad at me," that's not necessarily true.

School officials are trained to spot signs of abuse and have to report it if they suspect it and they have to investigate it if someone reports it. However, they do not have to reveal your name. The nurse or teacher can say, "I noticed you haven't been feeling well," or "I saw some suspicious bruises. Is everything OK at home?" They will take the responsibility on themselves, and will not put it on you. They won't say, "Well, Tammy told me you had told her you were being abused." That's generally not how they handle these situations, especially if you tell that trusted adult that your friend trusts you and you don't want to break that trust.

A trust between friends is powerful and important and should never be taken lightly. But, this could be a life and death situation. Telling someone could save your friend's life. Good luck, and I'll be praying for both of you.

By anon113665 — On Sep 25, 2010

I have a friend who comes into school and will always tell me that her mom abuses her. One day, she came in and was crying and afraid of almost all the other girls. She came running up to me and for the entire week would only talk to me.

Lately, she comes in and will come up to me and try and hide the pain from me, but i still see it. When I ask her if she is okay, she says she just fell or make up another excuse. She finally admitted to me that her mom has been hurting her before she comes to school and now I fear for her safety. She tries to act tough so no one suspects anything, but she is hurting.

I want to help her, but I don't want to break her trust in me. She doesn't want any of the other kids to know about it, but she is getting beaten worse now. She won't let herself believe it is abuse, but her mom threatens to take the kitchen knives and kill her.

What should I do? I don't want to break her trust, but I want to help her. I might be younger than her, but I think of her as my little sister. I've been trying to get her to report it, but she won't believe it is child abuse. I want to help her before it is too late.

By anon109544 — On Sep 08, 2010

I am a worried mother who thinks my husband is abusing my son, age four, and maybe my daughter, age one. I am not sure if it's happening or not because of my own past of dealing with child abuse in the family or whether I am overreacting.

My family was never close. However, my husband's families were and maybe I am mixing the two up.

please, could someone help me with making any sense of what's happening as i can't really talk this over with anyone? thank you!

By anon107991 — On Sep 01, 2010

My brother an his girlfriend have four children. Their baby is a year old and she gets a bath maybe once a week if she's lucky.

Just recently, their two boys have been wearing the same clothing for four days in a row and they haven't been washed.

In the past, they have CPS called on them but nothing seems to be happening with the situation. CPS was also called for a matter of their house being very dirty and not suitable to be occupied by children.

CPS has been called more than once on that matter as well, and nothing has been done. CPS always gives them the opportunity to clean and have the house rechecked a few days later but after that, the house goes back to the same way.

It just seems as if CPS isn't acting properly on this matter. I am concerned for the children an their well being. What more can I or anyone else do to have this matter taken care of?

I just don't understand that CPS keeps getting reports but never seems to do anything to them but slap them on their wrist and say clean up and we'll be back in a few days to check on it. Please help me figure this out. And if there is something that i can do to get this taken care of, I'd appreciate it.

By anon104168 — On Aug 15, 2010

I'm 18 years old and i have a girlfriend who is 16 and she is getting abused by her mum. I don't know what to do because i can't do anything because that will make her home a living hell and the same if anyone else gets involved with it. What can i do? i hate seeing my girlfriend being abused but there is nothing i can do. someone please help me!

By momma83 — On Aug 12, 2010

I don't know what to do anymore. I have three young children, ages 6, 3 and 1. i stay with their father and some of his family.

my oldest has adhd, and he doesn't like to listen or anything and it's worst when he's around some of the other kids who are here in the house. the other kids in the house do whatever they want and don't get in trouble for it. my kids constantly get blamed for any wrongdoing.

so lately i've been keeping my children in my room by me watching cartoons and letting them play with toys, but i get fussed at for it, with people saying it's neglect and abuse. i need advice on what i can do.

By anon94639 — On Jul 09, 2010

Worriedmom: if you are still in a custody battle you can go to the courts for an emergency order to be granted until the investigation is finalized.

I would suggest speaking to the officer to accompany you or at least give a sworn statement since he seems to be your biggest ally. Take as much information as you can. You can do this with or without representation because most courts do have a legal library that is open to the public. Also there are many websites available that will give you access to the forms and steps you need to do. I hope this helps.

By anon89681 — On Jun 11, 2010

please help me someone. i am getting child abused at home nearly every day. i can't cope with it anymore. i often go to school with bruises and marks.

By anon89352 — On Jun 09, 2010

I'm 13 and my parents are divorced. I think my father is abusing me. For starters, I was walking down the stairs and he comes up and pushes me down. I got up and he started to beat me with his fists and a broom stick, then starts to scream at me. He said that i should never of been born, that I cause the stress he has and whole bunch of other crap.

I have ran away many times but every time he has found me. I am afraid but i don't want to tell anyone because he had threatened me and I don't want him to actually do it.

By anon84224 — On May 14, 2010

If you know a child who is getting abused and you're not doing anything, it's about time you do something before it's too late. a child only lives one life and it's not to be abused by someone who's sick in the head.

I'm not anyone who works with the HSE or DFS but i love working with children and i would do my best to make sure no child would get abused. I'd risk my life for them and I'm only 18 years old. I'd do it in a heartbeat because it's not a way for anyone to be brought up.

Can you really listen to a child cry and know that they have no reason to be crying but you do know their parents had beaten them up or they have been abused? If you can live with knowing that and are not doing anything about, it, it's not right.

Please think about it. Is it worth letting a child go through such a bad life? I've done a child care course and if I've learned anything there, it's to protect a child even if i don't know the child and there are ways where if you think you may need help, talk to someone and get the help.

I don't know. It just might be how i am. I just wouldn't like to know a child was going through so much pain.

By anon82179 — On May 04, 2010

I'm a 13 year old kid and i think I'm being abused by my parents and my older brother.

First of all, when my brother hits me, my parents don't do anything about it. He almost broke my leg and then my father comes downstairs and beats me with a plastic stick for no reason.

I've thought so many times about just running away from my house, but i always think that i would never survive as CPS because i don't want to get my parents' kids taken away or have them get pressed charges on even though they deserve it.

By anon77181 — On Apr 13, 2010

Well am doing my graduation project on child abuse. it gets me so mad knowing that children are being abused. i hate it so much and well, i would like to work with kids who have been abused and try to help them. help the ones who are being abused now. make their lives better and happier for them to enjoy and not have to go through all that.

By WorriedMom2 — On Mar 26, 2010

Recently my son came home from a week visitation with his father. When I picked up my son from his father his father told me he had two bad days at school, and that was the end of the conversation.

When my son got into the car I asked him why he had the bad days, my son said "I can't remember, mommy. My step-mom hit me in the head cause I couldn't remember who I hit at school. She said if she found out I hit a girl she was going to beat the crap out of me." I was stunned to say the least. I called my ex's sister, who I am close friends with, and told her what my son had just told me. She advised me to go straight to the police station and report the incident.

I picked up my daughter from their grandparents home then took my son to report the incident. The police officer spoke with my son and felt the bump on the side of his head, and the officer told me he believed my son was abused. The next day DFS came to my home to speak with my kids, and my son told the same story he told the police officer without skipping a beat (i was not in the room), and both my daughter and my son said they do not feel safe at my ex's home.

The DFS worker also felt the bump on my son's head. She also made a visit to my ex's home and they said my son had "Hit his head at school." The DFS worker became very short with me and said she needed to speak with the school.

I called the school, spoke with his teacher and the school nurse both had no reports of my son hitting his head at school. I called DFS and told the supervisor what I had found out about the school and the supervisor said to me, "Well kids get hurt at school all the time and it goes unreported." I was blown away. They refused to speak with my witnesses who had, in the past, seen the step-mom hit her own child so hard that he fell to the ground, and had seen her grab my son by his face. It seemed that the people who were supposed to help my son didn't want to help my son. It feels like I am banging my head against a wall.

I spoke with the officer who picked up my son's case and he gave me a little hope. He said he would basically do everything that DFS was refusing to do. Now it's a waiting game, and the waiting is killing me. Since there is a custody order already in place, I have to send my son back to his dad's on Friday for a week, and this idea makes me sick. I need any and all information anyone can give me.

I live in Missouri and it seems like it's a dead end everywhere I turn. Please help!

By anon70699 — On Mar 15, 2010

My daughter is with her father 50 percent of the time and when she comes to my house she always seems different for first couple days.

Then for the past couple of weeks she interacts with her dolls very violently. She yells, kicks and slaps them. She is only two but I don't think she is playing.

I asked if someone does that to her and she says Nana or Grandpa. My ex currently lives with his parents and he told me when he was little he was abused by his father. I don't know if I should call the cops or CPS or what. I need help. If anyone has any advice please help me. -- Desperate

By anon66759 — On Feb 21, 2010

my son goes to his dad's for visits during the week and for three days every three weeks, but recently my son come back from his dad and said to us when we asked did he have fun with daddy he said "yeah i did except when we went to johns and daddy made me strip to my underpants and i was crying and he just ignored me and carried on and left me in my underpants until nanny came to collect me."

i am really concerned because this is not the first time my son has come out with something like this. he first said daddy touched him down there when he was about three years old and now i am scared because my son won't talk about when he goes to his dad or anything. he just says, "yeah i had fun" and when I ask what he did, he says, "i don't remember."

I'm worried because my son also has adhd so he finds it hard to communicate with us properly. Can some one please help me? What can i do to stop this from ever happening again?

By anon66555 — On Feb 20, 2010

I live in a split double house with a neighbor who abuses his wife and the wife abuses their two year old son. We can hear the screams and sometimes hear how the husband beats his wife.

If I called the police they will know it is us. When we see each other we say hello, how are you doing. I'm kind of scared, don't know what to do. But it eats at me to hear this little child constantly crying. Please advise.

By amypollick — On Feb 04, 2010

Isabel, your husband needs to call the Child Protective Services office in the city or county where his son lives, *pronto.* A legal battle is not pleasant, but it would be far worse to allow this child to continue to live in a situation where you both know he is being abused. Not doing something also sends a message: that you don't really care what happens to him, in spite of what he has told you. Please, call the authorities and get that child some help.

By anon63653 — On Feb 02, 2010

I am extremely concerned because my stepson continuously tells me and his father that his mother abuses him physically and emotionally.

His mother has been mistreating him for quite some time already. There have been marks, bruises, scratches,etc. He's 11 years old and calls behind his mom's back to let me know that she slapped him for not bringing her the appropriate object she requested!

We live 13 hours away and have lost control of the situation. I have talked to her about it and she has admitted doing so. Se says she won't do it again and my stepson says it just lasts for a while then she begins the abuse again and tells him that it's for his own good.

We flew him over to visit for the x-mas and new year holidays and he told us that his mother hits him and tells him this is not abuse -- it is discipline!

Even her husband, who is a border patrol agent, tells him that his mom is just disciplining him that its not abuse! Wow. Those are some filthy people trying to turn things around to their convenience and trying to brain wash him by telling him it's not abuse, that it's discipline!

His mom even throws whatever gifts we give him its just plain childish on her behalf and it breaks my heart to hear how he's suffering.

He says he doesn't want to live with her anymore. My husband has joint custody and we just don't want to put him in a worse situation than he already is by going through a legal battle.

We're really afraid of what we should do about this situation. I love him like if he were my own. He knows that very well which is why he confides in me. Please help. --Isabel V.

By anon61953 — On Jan 23, 2010

earlier this week my family received a call from our son/nephew/grandson who lives two states away. He told my brother that his grandfather had spanked his little sister so bad she had bruises and couldn't sit down. Her mother got on the phone and confirmed and it and stated that she was there.

We don't know what was used to spank her and the reasoning for spanking her was that she was acting up. She was kept home from preschool. We called the local sheriff who went out and said that there was no sign of abuse and the child was happy. We obviously were not happy with that, especially since they sent a male sheriff out to check out a little girl.

So we called CPS. They have talked to the older brother at school and the mother refused to let them talk to the little girl. They are trying to go for neglect on the mom. We, unfortunately, are two states away. Did we do the right thing and what if CPS can't talk to the little girl and examine her before the bruising is gone?

By anon56243 — On Dec 13, 2009

Someone that i know had their kids taken because her house was dirty. her kids went to go live with a family member and that family member treats the kids really bad, like cursing them and hitting them. they have to stay in bed all the time, or should i say the poor babies have to sleep on the cold floor with only sheets.

these kids are worse off now. i have witnessed this. i have also reported this but nobody will believe me. i don't know what else to do. i feel so bad for the kids it makes me want to cry. please tell me what i should do.

By anon48885 — On Oct 15, 2009

My step son has burns on his leg that are in the shape of an iron. His mother has been heard on numerous occasions cursing him. We have contacted CPS, but haven't heard anything from them. What are their procedures? Help. Cutie

By anon40465 — On Aug 08, 2009

I babysit for a child that has been physically, mentally and verbally abused by her biological mother and her stepfather. Child Protective Services is a waste of time. They took the child away from them just to return them and now there is another child in the picture. The follow-up visits never came and after a real good act by the so called caregivers, two children were returned to the violent home. What do you do when social services fails?

By Chia3633 — On Dec 08, 2008

My friends Parents are divorced, her big sister and big brother are living with the father in another country she stays here for school and Music,[piano], so she lives with her grandmother her grand mother always makes her do things at home Cleaning, cooking and she always curses at her and calls her bad things, she never lets her go out To the shop even! she spilled hot water on her which burned her neck,

i believe this is both Physical and Mental abuse,

What should i do?

she is 16 and she doesn't want to go to her father she wants to stay her with us [her friends] her father keeps telling her don't worry 2 years to go, but god knows what might happen in these Two years!


By helpmeplease — On Sep 28, 2008

I know someone who has a 2 year old girl that goes to her grandparents where her father lives and stays for a couple of days at a time. When the mom comes to pick her up she screams and hides.

Sometimes the little girls aunt picks her up and she if fine. But if its the mom she screams and hides. She has no evidence of physical abuse. But the mom yells at her and curses at her. She sometimes is dirty and has on dirty clothes. Do you think this should be reported? I am a concerned friend and don't know if it would be considered abuse or not.

By puppet — On Apr 18, 2008

Ashley, I am not sure of your age, or that of your mothers, however, if she is menopausal she is very hormonal. I am in a similar situation, and sometimes I feel as though the only way to explain this is that she is “crazy”. There are times when she seems fine, and then out no where, she is angry and can’t seem to control her emotions. At times this is day to day, and then it can change second to second. I don’t know if this helps you, but I do know exactly how you feel. Hang in there!

By WGwriter — On Apr 18, 2008

Hi Ashly,

We're not doctors or psychiatrists at wiseGEEK, but I can give you a little person to person advice. If your mom's moods are erratic, she may never have dealt fully with the abuse she encountered as a child. However, you may not be able to get her to seek counseling, and there could be other reasons why her behavior changes quickly. It would be good if you could, but lots of people are afraid of counseling because they are very worried about reopening old wounds and having to really "deal" with the abuse of the past. If you can't get her to go, I really recommend that you look to seeing a counselor yourself, maybe starting with a school counselor or trusted pastor for some recommendations. It can be difficult being parented by a a parent who was an abused child, especially if he or she never really recovered from it. The best you can do is love your mom, but recognize that she may not be ideal, and the important thing here is that you learn how not to react as she does, and how to deal with things when she reacts. If your mom is open to it, though, seeing a counselor together to talk about these issues would be great too. My best to you. Keep us posted on how you're doing.

By ashly — On Apr 18, 2008

I am interested in becoming a forensic psychologist. My mother was severely abused mentally and physically. I had a wonderful childhood because of her and was never abused or neglected. However, as I get older, I notice how her mood is erratic. She is very moody and emotional. She will overreact about insignificant things. One minute she will be very mad at someone and 15 or 30 minutes later, she will act like nothing happened. I heard MRI studies were done on children around age 5 every year for 4 years who are abused. Their results show a significant abnormal development of their brains. It seems to me that my mothers emotions are that of a child since she gets upset quickly and forgets is just as quick. My question is if my mothers behavior and inability to control her emotions and thoughts, has anything to do with her abusive childhood? And if so, should she seek counseling.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia...
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