How to report child abuse
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 if you have information about someone else being abused, you should contact police on 131 444.
You can report child abuse by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to your local police station who will advise the Child Abuse Squad. You can also report online (anonymously if you wish) through the Safe2Say portal:
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?
If you are an adult 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.
Specially trained police will talk with children in a friendly environment. The interview will be video recorded, and can then be used in any subsequent court proceedings to make it less traumatic for the child.
The identity of any witnesses or other corroboration may also be requested.
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. At all stages of the investigation the victim’s safety and wellbeing will be the priority.
Once sufficient investigations have been conducted a decision is made on the outcome, based on available evidence. If there is sufficient evidence, charges will be laid against the alleged offender.
Significant accommodations can be made by the court to help witnesses, especially child witnesses to give evidence.
In many cases it is possible for a victim to give evidence by video link, to avoid appearing in the same courtroom as the alleged perpetrator.
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 child 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.
The identity of the accused person and any witnesses are not released if it will, in any way, identify the victim.