What should I do if I think a child is being abused?

Any child abuse investigation begins with CPS. Make a report today. Call Michigan Children’s Protective Services (CPS) Centralized Intake at 1-855-444-3911 – any time, day or night.

What if abuse is happening right in front of me?

If you are an eyewitness to child abuse, call 911 immediately, and then call Michigan Child Protective Services (CPS) Centralized Intake at 1-855-444-3911.

Know the Warning Signs

Download the PDF from Child Welfare Information Gateway

Myths and Facts

Myth: It’s only abuse if it’s violent.

Fact: Physical abuse is just one type of child abuse. Child neglect, sexual and emotional abuse can inflict just as much damage, and since they’re not always as obvious, others are less likely to intervene.

Myth: Only bad people abuse their children.

 

Fact: Not all abusive parents or guardians intentionally harm their children. Many have been victims of abuse themselves and don’t know any other way to parent. Others may be struggling with mental health issues or substance abuse problems.

Myth: Abuse doesn’t happen in “good” families.

 

Fact: Abuse and neglect doesn’t only happen in poor families or bad neighborhoods. These behaviors cross all racial, economic, and cultural lines. Sometimes, families who seem to have it all from the outside are hiding a different story behind closed doors.

Myth: Most child abusers are strangers.

 

Fact: While abuse by strangers does happen, most abusers are family members or others close to the family.

Myth: Abused children always grow up to be abusers.

 

Fact: It is true that abused children are more likely to repeat the cycle as adults, unconsciously repeating what they experienced as children. On the other hand, many adult survivors of child abuse have a strong motivation to protect their children against what they went through and become excellent parents.