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Reporting Abuse


Oregon law defines physical abuse as an injury to a child that is not accidental. The public plays a key role in reporting suspected child abuse or neglect by reporting to law enforcement or child welfare.

It is not your responsibility to investigate abuse, interview the child, or get all the facts.

Just contact the authorities with your suspicion so that children and families get the support and care they need.

Anyone can report suspected child abuse. Certain professionals are mandated reporters, meaning they are required by law to report suspected abuse. Learn more about mandated reporting in Oregon and in Washington.

People in certain professions are mandatory reporters and, by law, must make a report if they suspect child abuse. Policemen, teachers, doctors, firefighters, paramedics, counselors, ministers are all mandatory reporters.

Even if you are not a mandatory reporter you should call law enforcement or child welfare if you suspect a child is the victim of abuse. If possible report the names and addresses of the child and parent; the child's age; the type and extent of the abuse, as well as any previous evidence of abuse; the explanation given for the abuse; and any other information that will help establish the cause of abuse or identify the abuser.

If you report suspected child abuse your identity can remain confidential to the full extent allowable by law. If court action is initiated, the reporting person may be called as a witness or the court may order that the reporter's name be disclosed. Only people with firsthand knowledge of the child's situation can provide testimony proving that abuse has occurred.

What to do if you suspect a child is being abused

If you suspect or know that a child (someone 18 or younger) is being abused, call:

1-855-503-SAFE (7233)

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If a child is in immediate danger, call 911 for immediate assistance.

The criteria for a referral to SafeSpace is:

  • An initial report needs to be made to law enforcement or to the Department of Human Services (DHS).

  • Child should be between the ages of 0 to 18 years old, or an adult of any age with developmental disabilities. (Ages 0-18 for any medical referrals)

  • The child has made a disclosure of sexual abuse, physical abuse, witness to domestic violence, commercial sexual exploitation, or trafficking.

When accessing services, SafeSpace provides trauma-informed, child friendly, culturally sensitive, evidence-based care for children and support for caregivers free of charge. It is the policy and standards of SafeSpace to ensure high quality services without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, national origin, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. SafeSpace prohibits any such discrimination or harassment.

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