It might seem like there’s little to no need to report child abuse if it happened a long time ago, especially if the child is grown up or has no possibility of seeing the offender in Oklahoma again. And oftentimes, reporting these incidents is painful and difficult for everyone involved.
Think about the next person
You might wonder if it’s worth putting yourself and others through all that. But as hard as it may be, it’s important to consider what would happen if you allow the abuse or neglect to go unreported.
Reporting child abuse can prevent further incidents from occurring. Those who commit these criminal acts are often repeat offenders. Think about those who will encounter the individual in the future.
It doesn’t matter when the domestic abuse happened. The important thing is there’s still someone out there who might repeat the same pattern of behavior.
Who can file a child abuse report?
Child abuse reporting can come from various sources. In some cases, it’s a child reporting something that they experienced themselves. Other times, it’s one kid reporting something that happened to another child.
Child abuse may be also be reported by adults like teachers, babysitters, coaches and day care workers. Some professionals such as counselors are mandatory reporters, meaning they have strict laws requiring them to report any allegations, suspicions or witnessed incidents of neglect and abuse.
The abuse might have been witnessed firsthand or heard about by friends at school or other activities. It makes a big difference whether it’s someone in their close social circle or a person they haven’t interacted with as much.
Depending on how comfortable you are with the person, it may be difficult to know how to approach the situation. The best thing to do is be kind and gentle while staying honest and asking the hard but important questions.
A child doesn’t have to be legally yours in order for you file an abuse report. If the child is under your care and you see or suspect abuse or neglect, it’s within your power to report it.