Myths About Abuse and Reporting
Topic 6 Page 9
Myth: If I make a report and it turns out to be false, then I am liable.
Myth: Abuse is most often committed by strangers.
Myth: I have to be sure that abuse or neglect is happening to make a report.
Myth: I have to find out more information, call the parents, and find evidence of abuse and neglect before I make a report.
Myth: Child abusers are easy to identify.
Myth: If child welfare professionals do not take the case, the child will be more vulnerable and my relationship with them will be compromised.
Myth: Child sex offenders are creepy or weird looking
Myth: Since I see the child daily, I can monitor the child’s health and safety. I will make the report if things seem to get worse or if things are not better before a long break.
Myth: If I am wrong, child welfare professionals could take away the child and it will be my fault.
Law enforcement will only remove the child as a last resort. In-Home Services and support to the family are the first options. Child welfare professionals will complete a thorough safety assessment and plan. The decision to remove a child from his or her home is not just based on the information that you share.
Myth: Women never sexually abuse children.
Myth: He was sexually abused as a child, so he could not help it.
Myth: It only happened once, and he promised it would never happen again
It is rare for a sexual offense to be a one-time occurrence, and generally sex offenders are prosecuted for fewer abuses than they have committed. Sex offenders have limited commitment to change as they have already crossed substantial legal, social, and ethical boundaries to commit the offense. Treatment for adult sex offenders, while important, has proven so far to have limited success in preventing re-offending. Treatment for adolescent sex offenders, however, is reaping more positive results.