Disclaimer: This section is intended for informational purposes. SAPA works with adult survivors of childhood abuse, but may not be the best resource for recent childhood abuse. The resources below may provide better options.
For more information and advocacy options, please visit:
If you believe a child has been sexually or physically abused, what can you do?
Most importantly, believe the child. Children almost never lie about abuse. Tell the child you're glad they told you, and that you will try to help them be safe in the future. (Be aware that unfortunately, some institutions may assume that the child is lying or they may assume you are lying to get revenge on your partner, to get child custody, or to win a court battle.) Keep a log and write down all incidents and all statements about the abuse.
If possible, help the child get to counseling. Get some support for yourself.
File a report with Michigan Child Protective Services.
Michigan Child Protective Services Central Intake (855)444-3911 (Toll Free Number) (24Hours)
You can also call the police. Give CPS and the police as many concrete details as you can. Understand that they cannot take action based on what the child has told you. They will have to hear it directly from the child.
If the child has been sexually assaulted or abused, they should have a medical exam. However, do not take the child to your family doctor for an exam. Most doctors are not trained to do such exams, and it would be traumatic for the child. Ask CPS to make a referral to the Child and Family Enrichment Center in Mount Pleasant.