Reporting Child Abuse to the Police

Any adult who has a reasonable suspicion a child is being abused should report it to law enforcement authorities. Yet time and time again, we read of situations in which adults, including those in education, fail to do that.

West Virginia University officials are considering a change in policy on the matter. If WVU’s Board of Governors agrees, university policy regarding employment of minors will include a new requirement. It will be that anyone in the institution’s “community” who sees child abuse or has a reasonable suspicion it has occurred must report it to WVU’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

That is a good idea – but the proposed policy could be even better. Requiring that evidence of child abuse be reported to a law enforcement agency would be appropriate.

Often, law enforcement and child welfare agencies find accusations of child abuse are without foundation. Some are made with the goal of harming adults who have done nothing wrong.

Still, when reasonable grounds exist to believe a child has been abused, the police should be notified.