“Children cannot stop child abuse.
Helping a Child
When a child comes to you and tells you he or she is being abused, always take care to protect the child and honor the courage this takes. When you suspect that a child is being abused or neglected, you should immediately contact the Department of Children & Families (DCF) at 413-236-1800 or after hours at 800-792-5200.
If the situation is an emergency, first call your local police by dialing 911. Emergencies include situations where the child is in imminent danger of physical harm or sexual abuse.
Children who are victims of abuse must depend on the adults in their lives to pay attention to warning signs, believe them when they tell you something is wrong and respond responsibly.
If you are a person who works with children in a professional capacity you are mandated by law to immediately report all suspicions of child abuse & neglect to the DCF.
Signs and Symptoms of Abuse
Signs & symptoms of child abuse may be difficult to detect, as the abuse may be subtle or intentionally hidden.
While one sign alone may not indicate abuse, any of the following signs may signal a need for intervention.
Click to see Signs and Symptoms of abuse:
Who Should Report Abuse?
Reporting suspected cases of child abuse or neglect is everyone's responsibility, whether a mandated professional or a private citizen.
Mandated Reporters are required by law to report suspected child abuse and neglect. For a list of Mandated Reporters Click Here
For the concerned, private citizen, reporting child abuse is confidential.
When Should You Report Abuse?
Whenever you have reasonable cause to believe a child under the age of 18 has been abused or neglected. Reasonable cause means a reasonable suspicion. Absolute certainty or physical proof is not required. Abuse and neglect should be reported regardless of whether you believe the perpetrator is a caretaker or not.
How Do I Report Abuse?
Call the Department of Children & Families (DCF) at the number listed below. You will be asked a series of questions. Your name will be kept confidential upon request. You will be asked to file a written report within 48 hours.
Monday through Friday 8:45 – 5pm - Local Pittsfield Office at 413-236-1800
Nights, Holidays & Weekends - Child At Risk Hotline 1-800-792-5200