Reporting Abuse

At Chrysalis Center we have a strict abuse policy. According to the law school employees and school contractors have received training in how to know the signs of abuse, and are required to report abuse to the authorities immediately. 

Look for the signs of abuse:

Signs of Physical Abuse Include

  • A child experiencing physical abuse may:
    • bruises, welts, cuts, or other injuries
    • broken bones
    • burns
    • seem withdrawn or depressed
    • seem afraid to go home or may run away
    • shy away from physical contact
    • be aggressive
    • wear inappropriate clothing to hide injuries


Signs of Sexual Abuse Include

  • The child experiencing sexual abuse may have:
    • torn, stained or bloody underwear
    • trouble walking or sitting
    • pain or itching in genital area
    • a sexually transmitted disease
    • unusual knowledge of sex or act seductively
    • fear a particular person
    • seem withdrawn or depressed
    • gain or lose weight suddenly
    • shy away from physical contact
    • run away from home


Signs of Neglect Include

  • A child experiencing neglect may:
    • unattended medical needs
    • little or no supervision at home
    • poor hygiene
    • appear underweight
    • be frequently tired or hungry
    • steal food
    • appear overly needy for adult attention


Look for the patterns of abuse:

Serious abuse usually involves a combination of factors.  While a single sign may not be significant, a pattern of physical or behavioral signs is a serious indicator and should be reported.  

If a child tells you about abuse:

  • Be a good listener.  Show that you understand and believe what the child tells you.  Encourage, but don’t pressure him/her to talk.  Ask open ended questions.
  • Be supportive.  Tell the child he/she did the right thing by coming to you.  Stress that he/she is not to blame.  Let the child know that you want to help.
  • Don’t overreact.  This can frighten the child or prevent him/her from telling you more.  Do not talk negatively about the suspected abuser in front of the child.  
  • Document and report it.  Document your conversation as soon as you can.  If possible, write down the child’s exact words.  
  • Don’t delay.  Never assume someone else will report the abuse.  The sooner it’s reported, the sooner the child and their family can be helped.  


Who must report abuse?

  • Doctors 
  • Nurses 
  • All Medical Office Personnel
  • Social Workers
  • Applied Behavior Analysts 
  • Psychologists 
  • Mental Health Counselors
  • Police Officers
  • All Child Care Personnel
  • All School Personnel Including Contractors
  • Anyone Witnessing Abuse


To report abuse call 800-96abuse or report abuse online at:  http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/abuse/report/