What to do about possible child abuse?

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What to do about possible child abuse?

My wife’s now ex-brother-in-law told me that he heard that my sister-in-law was having sex with her daughter in bed with her new boyfriend. I said that I didn’t see her doing that. Then joking around, he said that he had sex with his 3 year-old step-daughter in bed when they where together. He said that he had a cow in his pants and moo at his zipper. How can I handle this legally but without him knowing that we reported him?

Asked on May 24, 2011 under Criminal Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It sounds like the "sticky wicket", so to speak, in this scenario is that you do not want to be identified as the reporter.  There seems to be several ways to do this.  First, you could send an anonymous letter to someone who is a "mandated reporter" such as the child's treating physician.  That person would then be obligated to report this to the authorities.  Second, you could probably make an anonymous call to your state's child protection agency.  Third, you could make an anonymous call to local law enforcement.  In any event, however, you need to understand that your desire for anonymity is likely going to make your report less credible.  Put another way, it is less likely that your report will be taken seriously/investigated if you are not willing to personally report/testify with respect to your knowledge of the abuse.  Nevertheless, an anonymous report is better than no report, and it still may lead to these children being protected from further abuse.


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