If you should ever find yourself believing that your child, or someone you know, has been sexually abused, what do you do? First of all, take a deep breath and know that you are not alone. Many of us have been through this and we are here to help you through the process.
Should I contact the Police Department?
The first think you need to do is to contact a professional in your area that can handle the situation carefully. It is important that children are handled carefully so that they are not made to feel additional shame or fear. There are special officers in each police department that are trained to interview children in a non-threatening manner and that can make sure that the testimony is admissible in court as evidence, thus preventing the child from having to go through even more trauma in court. If the suspect is an educator, it is important that you contact the police department as well as school authorities. Do not assume that the school will report it to authorities for you, though they definitely should.
These officers rotate their duties, so providing a current list of them here is not practical. But you can and should contact the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) as they are always aware of the best contacts in each portion of the state.
CDFS Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline: 1-855-323-3237
It is very important that you contact the State Board of Education if the suspected perpetrator is an educator. Do not assume that law enforcement authorities will contact them. This is not usually the case. By contacting the State School Board, you ensure that the educator will be removed from the classroom until the investigation is complete.
State School Board: Phone: (801) 538-7517
Another great resource to help you through the reporting process is the Utah Children's Justice Center Program, with 20 locations throughout the state.
Utah's CJCs promote a multidisciplinary response to child abuse. The centers serve children 17 years of age or younger who have allegedly been victims of sexual abuse, serious physical abuse, or other crimes involving children, such as domestic violence, drug endangerment, and Internet exploitation.
Their child-friendly atmosphere offers many services, such as Forensic Interviews, Medical Exams and other support services.
To find a location near you, Click HERE, or contact them at:
Utah Children’s Justice Center Program
Utah Attorney General’s Office
5272 S. College Drive, #200
Salt Lake City, UT 84123
*If you have any further questions or need help contacting any of these offices, you may call our offices at 385-999-1020 for assistance.