Responding to Abuse

Handling Disclosure

Most children do not tell if they have been sexually abused. If a child reveals to you that something inappropriate has happened, be prepared to respond appropriately. This is a rare, courageous moment for the child. Learn how to foster that conversation.

Responding to Warning Signs

If a child displays warning signs of sexual abuse, Stop It Now! offers these steps:

  • Create a safety plan.
  • Look for patterns of behavior that make children less safe. Keep track of behaviors that concern you.
  • Speak up when you have a concern.
  • Visit the online help center for resources and guidance.

Reporting Abuse

Report child sexual abuse to the Iowa Department of Human Services at 1.800.362.2178.

If the child is in imminent danger, immediately call law enforcement to provide assistance to the child and then call DHS to report a suspected case of child abuse.

If you see physical signs of abuse, have your child examined by a professional immediately or call the police.

Para hacer un reporte de abuso de niños, llame al 1-800-362-2178. Visite éste página para más información sobre cómo puede reportar el maltrato de menores.

Seeking Advice

Child abuse hotlines can help answer your specific questions about suspected child sexual abuse and direct you to local resources.

Stop It Now! Help Center: Click here or call 1.888.PREVENT.

United Way 211 offers peer counseling, crisis intervention and information and referrals in Iowa.

Darkness to Light’s helpline will route you to resources in your community. Call 1.866.FOR.LIGHT.

Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline:  Click here or call 1.800.4.A.CHILD.

Para hablar con un consajero hispanohablante especializado en situaciones de crisis, póngase en contacto con Childhelp llamando al 1.800.4 A CHILD (1.800.422.4453).

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How We Prevent Child Abuse in Iowa

What we do and how you can make a difference.

Prevent Child Abuse Iowa 2704 Fleur Drive | Des Moines, IA 50321 | P: (515) 244.2200 | F: (515) 280.7835 | Toll Free: (800) 237.1815

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