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Reporting Child Abuse

Reporting Child Sexual Abuse

Reporting any suspected or witnessed sexual abuse of a minor is required by Indiana law for anyone over the age of 18. Reports may be anonymous.

Indiana Code article IC 31-33 deals with reporting and investigation of child abuse and neglect.

The obligations under Indiana law are:

  • Anybody over the age of 18 must report suspected child abuse or neglect (of any kind, not just sexual in nature) to the police or to Child Protective Services (IC 31-33-5-1).

  • Purdue faculty and staff may also report suspicions to a supervisor or other designated person, who also becomes responsible for filing a report or causing a report to be filed (IC 31-33-5-2).

    • However, reporting to a supervisor or other designated person does not relieve an individual of their obligation to file a report (IC 31-33-5-3).

  • Anyone who reports child abuse or neglect or is involved in the investigation of the report (except the accused) is immune from civil or criminal liability, unless they acted maliciously or in bad faith (IC 31-33-6).

Responsibilities under Purdue’s policy:

  • Report suspected child abuse or neglect to police (call 911 in an emergency) or Child Protective Services (800-800-5556).

  • Report child sexual abuse by Purdue faculty, staff, students, volunteers, contractors, or other covered persons in accordance with the Anti-Harassment policy.

  • You can report anonymously on Purdue’s Whistleblower Hotline website or by calling 866-818-2620.

What does Indiana Law Say About Reporting Child Abuse?

Information Maintained by the Office of Code Revision Indiana Legislative Services Agency

IC 31-33-5

Chapter 5. Duty to Report Child Abuse or Neglect
IC 31-33-5-1IC 31-33-5-2IC 31-33-5-3IC 31-33-5-4

Duty to make report, Sec. 1

In addition to any other duty to report arising under this article, an individual who has reason to believe that a child is a victim of child abuse or neglect shall make a report as required by this article.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.16.

Notification of individual in charge of institution, school, facility, or agency; report, Sec. 2

(a) If an individual is required to make a report under this article in the individual's capacity as a member of the staff of a medical or other public or private institution, school, facility, or agency, the individual shall immediately notify the individual in charge of the institution, school, facility, or agency or the designated agent of the individual in charge of the institution, school, facility, or agency.

(b) An individual notified under subsection (a) shall report or cause a report to be made.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.16.

Effect of compliance on individual's own duty to report, Sec. 3

This chapter does not relieve an individual of the obligation to report on the individual's own behalf, unless a report has already been made to the best of the individual's belief.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.16.

Immediate oral report to department of child services or law enforcement agency, Sec. 4

A person who has a duty under this chapter to report that a child may be a victim of child abuse or neglect shall immediately make an oral report to:
(1) the department; or
(2) the local law enforcement agency.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.16. Amended by P.L.234-2005, SEC.107.

Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect Suspected

Child abuse or neglect should be reported to Child Protective Services (CPS). They operate a 24-hour, 7-day a week hotline: 1-800-800-5556 There is also a local number for every county listed at the CPS website http://www.in.gov/dcs/2372.htm. Prevent Child Abuse Indiana does not take abuse or neglect reports. You may also contact your local law enforcement agency to report abuse or neglect. Remember, Indiana law requires the reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect. Callers can remain anonymous and are immune from all civil and criminal liability, provided they have made the report in good faith.

Fewer than one in ten children will report the abuse. Yet, most of these children carry the emotional scars and guilt of the abuse for the rest of their lives.

A child may tell a trusted adult about sexual abuse. If you are the adult, your reaction may be key in beginning the healing process for the child.

  1. Believe the child. Preteen children rarely make false accusations about sexual abuse.
  2. Remain calm. Don't panic. Listen. If you respond in a judgmental way, the child may refuse to tell more.
  3. Ask open-ended questions, such as "What happened next?" Don't ask leading questions and don't press for details.
  4. Thank the child for having the courage to tell you about the situation.
  5. Tell the child that it is not the child's fault. Remember that the adult is always responsible for his or her behavior.

Think about situations in which a child may tell you about abuse, and have response plan in case it happens.
That way you can control your emotional response better and be ready to help the child.

For more information on Child Abuse Laws and Resources visit: http://www.pcain.org/indiana_laws.asp