Report Abuse

Reporting Abuse - Information & Important Numbers

District of Columbia

Toll-Free (877) 671-SAFE

Local (toll): (202) 671-7233


Toll-Free (800) 552-7096

Local (toll): (804) 786-8536


Toll-Free (800) 332-6347

Hours are 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Anyone can report suspected child abuse or neglect. Reporting abuse or neglect can protect a child and get help for a family - it may even save a child's life.


All persons that work with children are mandated reporters.


The Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with professional crisis counselors who have access to a large database of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are anonymous. Contact them at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 If you are experiencing an immediate emergency, call 911                                                                                                                                                                                                            

If you suspect abuse or neglect is occurring, report it-and keep reporting it-until something is done. Contact child protective services (in your local phone book) or your local police department so professionals can assess the situation.


You may also call one of the following child abuse reporting numbers in your area:








Important Numbers

DC Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline… (202)-671-SAFE

Montgomery County… (240) 777-4417

Prince George’s County… (301) 808-5624

Arlington County… (703) 228-5100

Alexandria County… (703) 838-4444

National Child Abuse Hotline… (800) 4 A-CHILD

Advocates for Youth… (202) 419-3420

Stress Line for Families… (202) 544-5440

DC Rape Crisis Center… (202) 333-RAPE

Justice for Children… (202) 667-1160

DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence… (202) 299-1181

National Center for Victims of Crime… (800) 394-2255

National Organization for Victim Assistance… (800) TRY-NOVA

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children… (800) THE-LOST


What will happen when I make a report?

Your report of possible child maltreatment will first be screened by hotline staff or a child protective service worker. If the worker feels there is enough credible information to indicate that maltreatment may have occurred or is at risk of occurring, your report will be referred to staff who will conduct an investigation.


Investigators respond within a particular time period (anywhere from a few hours to a few days), depending on the potential severity of the situation. They may speak with the child, the parents, and other people in contact with the child (such as doctors, teachers, or childcare providers). Their purpose is to determine if abuse or neglect has occurred and if it may happen again. If the investigator finds that no abuse or neglect occurred, or what happened does not meet your state’s definition of abuse or neglect, the case will be closed and the family may or may not be referred elsewhere for services. If the investigator feels the children are at risk of harm, the family may be referred to services to reduce the risk of future maltreatment. These may include mental health care, medical care, parenting skills classes, employment assistance, and concrete support such as financial or housing assistance. In rare cases where the child’s safety cannot be ensured, the child may be removed from the home.


The names of reporters are not given out to families reported for child abuse or neglect; however, sometimes by the nature of the information reported, your identity may become evident to the family. You may request to make your report anonymously, but your report may be considered more credible and can be more helpful to the child protection services if you give your name.



Your suspicion of child abuse or neglect is enough to make a report. You are not required to provide proof. Almost every state has a law to protect people who make good-faith reports of child abuse from prosecution and/or liability.



Department of Health and Human Services

Administration for Children and Families

Gateways to Prevention: What Everyone Can Do to Prevent Child Abuse. 2004 Child Abuse Prevention Community Resource Packet