What should one do about abuse by a father?

You should contact Child Protective Services. 1-800-4-A-CHILDĀ®

(1-800-422-4453)

They will probably send a social worker who is a caring, intelligent person who can and will help you. As much as you might hesitate to involve authorities in a family matter, this is important. Take him/her out of the situation as soon as possible. If you are the victim, go to someone you know that will hide or protect you until you are safe. Your teacher might have a family member that could keep you until your statements are proven. You are believed FIRST, not the father. If you are the mother of this victim, do not claim you have no where to go. Your child needs to leave the situation. Do not have the child look at you later with hate because you didn't protect them. There are jobs and homes to have a brand new start. This is not about you.

You must make a report to the proper authorities. This may be done by telephone, by letter, by e-mail or in person. A report can be made anonymously, but divulging who you are and the relationship you have with the child or youth will aid in the investigation. When a report of abuse and neglect is made, child abuse intervention dictates that the person or organization making the report must act in a way that:

* protects the child or youth

* protects other children/youth who may be involved respects the rights of alleged abuser; keeps information confidential; cooperates with Child Protection Agencies and possibly police. Child abuse intervention is everyone's responsibility, ethically, morally, and legally.

If you live in Canada, check your local phone book in the provincial blue pages under Children & Family Services for the number to call in your area to report child abuse and neglect.