Reporting abuse

  1. Hi all...
    I know as a health care profesional that I'm requirered by law to report suspected abuse. But my question is, what if the situation is regarding a friends family? Am I still required by law if its not in a "clinical" setting & its a personal aquainance?
    I know reporting it is the right thing to do... but then you get into long lasting legal implications, and you hate to induce that on friends.
    The situation is... a half brother Inappropriately toching his sister.
    My wife & I have tried to encourage them to seek help for the sisters sake. but they seem almost in denial. We've even tried to explain to them that that just perpetuates the problem. That it allows the "perpitrator" to "get away with it" & think they can do it again. And worsens the "victims" emotional hurt by not supporting her.
    So if we cann't encourage them to seek help, Am I required to report it or jepordize my license?
    If we wre to report it, it would be clear we did it. That would obviously more than likely destroy the friendship.
    So thats the Dilemma
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  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   bargainhound
    What is more important---------friendship or the child's welfare?
    You have to think of the child.
  4. by   TazziRN
    I believe you are mandated. If it ever comes out that you, a health professional, knew about this and did nothing, you could be liable.
  5. by   scribblerpnp
    Quote from Rswilson
    Hi all...
    I know as a health care profesional that I'm requirered by law to report suspected abuse. But my question is, what if the situation is regarding a friends family? Am I still required by law if its not in a "clinical" setting & its a personal aquainance?
    I know reporting it is the right thing to do... but then you get into long lasting legal implications, and you hate to induce that on friends.
    The situation is... a half brother Inappropriately toching his sister.
    My wife & I have tried to encourage them to seek help for the sisters sake. but they seem almost in denial. We've even tried to explain to them that that just perpetuates the problem. That it allows the "perpitrator" to "get away with it" & think they can do it again. And worsens the "victims" emotional hurt by not supporting her.
    So if we cann't encourage them to seek help, Am I required to report it or jepordize my license?
    If we wre to report it, it would be clear we did it. That would obviously more than likely destroy the friendship.
    So thats the Dilemma
    Legally, I'm not usre you are not required to report since this is not a client/nurse relationship. Though I would think that if it ever came out that you knew and did nothing, there would be problems.

    I know this is going to sound harsh, and I don't want to make you angry or defensive. I do want you to make an informed decison and I DO want to be honest. I have too much experience with this type of thing.

    IMO, morally you are required to report. Report this to your local CPS immediately. I feel VERY strongly about this issue due to working in pediatrics as well as in a psychiatric hospital with girls/boys who are abuse/reactive for being sexually abused. This child is sexually abused and by knowing and not doing anything about it you are helping to continue to the abuse. This girl and the brother are at risk. If this continues the girl will be at risk to have increased sexual partners, drug use, teen pregnancy, or act out the abuse to another person. The boy if not treated for his inappropriate behavior will continue to perpetrate the girl and will most likely move on to other children/people.

    I understand that the parents are your friends and they probably are in denial, maybe they will move out of that, but maybe not. In this matter safety of the child comes first. And the best thing you could do for these parents is to get them help from CPS. In most cases, CPS does not take the children out of the home the first time, but they will help the parents get HELP for both of these children as well as assist them in preventing further abuse with the use of door alarm, therapy, ect.

    There are not words enough to explain to you how important it is to report this issue. I hope you take what I've said into serious contemplation. It seems that as right now you are the only ones that can help these children, and I hope you do make the decision to help them. My heart goes out to them and to you, because I know this is difficult.
    Last edit by scribblerpnp on Nov 28, '06
  6. by   txspadequeenRN
    uhhhhh.... so you loose friends....turn them in!!!!! Ive turned in my family ...right is right....
  7. by   aka_steven
    We are going to report it. I was just kinda hoping ya'll told me I am required by law so I had a "reason" to throw in their face when they blew up at us... " I had to by law".
  8. by   scribblerpnp
    You can probably still tell them that. CPS may be able to tell you for sure if you are required to report. I'm figuring you are the only people that know about this abuse since you are positive the family will know it is you. You can give CPS the information without mentioning your name anyhow. They will not tell or affirm to the family that it was you if you ask CPS not to tell.

    I also want to tell you THANK YOU! You are doing the right thing for these children and your friends. You may find they are relieved that the "secret" is out. They may thank you for having the courage to start the ball rolling when they weren't able to (it DOES happen, I've seen it). So there is hope your friendship will remain intact.

    But, if you work in a medical office where these people bring their family for care, you are legally required to report. Maybe that helps?
    Last edit by scribblerpnp on Nov 28, '06
  9. by   twinmommy+2
    People should speak for the one that can't speak for themselves. Thank you for reporting that!!
    Last edit by twinmommy+2 on Nov 28, '06
  10. by   gr8rnpjt
    Quote from Rswilson
    We are going to report it. I was just kinda hoping ya'll told me I am required by law so I had a "reason" to throw in their face when they blew up at us... " I had to by law".
    A mandated reporter is a mandated reporter. I always looked at it as a 24h requirement attached to my license. I have seen and heard of things in my personal life that clearly needed to be reported, and were. I turn it around on the person and I tell them that now that I have this information, I am now mandated by law to report it. I put it on them to do something.
    This is what you should do. Talk to them first, explain that as a licensed professional you are a mandated reporter and by law must report any form of abuse that you are made aware of. Now that you have the knowlege, you have no choice. But you can be persuaded not to make the call if they get their heads out of their a**es and get some professional help for both children. Heck, you say they will know it was you anyway, so put the onus on them to stop you from making the call by getting help for both children.
  11. by   BSNtobe2009
    If it's half-brother, that kid needs help....touching can easily turn into full molestation that can turn into rape.

    Please report this immediately so not only will the little girl be protected, but that kid can get some serious help...he could be getting molested himself.
  12. by   aka_steven
    Ok, I've already called my wife & told her about your unanimous response. She's calling today. (I'm at work)
    Like I said, we've tried to reason with them. Even if it isn't a "nurse/ client" relationship... I'll still tell them it is manditory.
    Thanks for your support !
  13. by   MultipurposeRN
    how old are these kids, anyhow?
  14. by   aka_steven
    The brother is 13, The sister is 10

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