How to report child abuse

If you are a victim of child abuse or paedophilia

If the matter is urgent or the safety, health or welfare of a child is at risk then the emergency 000 number must be called.

If you are a child or adult who has been the victim of child abuse or paedophilia, or if you have information about someone else being abused, you should contact police on 131 444.

You can also report child abuse by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to your local police station who will advise the Child Abuse Squad.

Information supplied to the Child Abuse Squad is treated with the strictest of confidence. You can provide information anonymously, however it is preferred that we have a contact name in case there is a need to clarify any issues.

What happens if I report child abuse?

An appointment will be made with you to provide a statement. You will need to provide details of the assault, including the identity of the offender (if known) and dates, times and places where the offence/s occurred.

The identity of any witnesses or other corroboration may also be requested. A member of the Department for Community Development may also be present during the interview.

Detectives from the Child Abuse Squad or local detectives will conduct an investigation and the overseeing investigator will advise you of its progress.

Should you require counselling services, these will be made available to you.

A decision is made, based on available evidence. If there is sufficient evidence, charges will then be laid against the alleged offender.

Giving evidence

You may be required to give evidence in court to support your allegations. Any witnesses may also be required to give evidence.

It might be possible to give evidence by video recording, to avoid appearing in court or being confronted by the alleged perpetrator.

If this facility is unavailable, a screen might be placed between the victim and the offender while evidence is being given.

Victim support service

The Child Witness Service provides a specialist support person to victims and can assist with counselling and preparation for the court process. The service can also help with pre-recording the child's evidence for presentation in court.

More information is at the Department of the Attorney General – Child Witness Service website.

Can I be identified in the newspapers or on television?

It is a criminal offence to identify victims of sexual assault. No details can be given to anyone other than police involved in the investigation, court personnel and the barrister representing the person charged.

With your consent, your details may also be given to the Department for Community Development as they provide a service to ensure that protective issues are dealt with.

The identity of the accused person is not released if it will, in any way, identify the victim.