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Child Abuse

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Signs of child abuse

  • Unexplained injuries or injuries that do not match the explanation a child provides, such as bruising, broken limbs, wounds, severe cuts to the skin or burn marks.
  • Often victims retreat socially, but there is no universal set of emotional signs to look for.

Where it happens

  • Abuse doesn't just happen in the home. It happens in schools, on sports teams and throughout various organizations.
  • It only takes one strong-willed person to have the courage to report these incidents.
  • York Regional Police and our partners will investigate all accusations without bias to find the truth and support all victims of abuse.

Reporting child abuse

  • You can report sexual abuse online: other types of physical abuse at a local police station, or call (1-866-876-5423 ext. 7008) or contact Crime Stoppers.
  • Don't try to push the child for more information after they confide in you. Report to the incident to police and let trained Special Victims Unit investigators interview the child properly.
  • Get the child to a safe place, like a police station or a hospital.
  • Report the abuse immediately.
  • Individuals in certain professions, such as police officers, teachers, coaches and medical staff, have a duty to report abuse to police or child welfare.

What to expect when you call police

  • A thorough investigation from highly-trained investigators will take place.
  • The investigation may take a couple of hours, a couple of months, or in rare cases, a couple of years.
    • This depends on several factors such as waiting for evidence analysis, medical reports, conducting interviews and tracking down witnesses.

What other processes are involved

  • Police routinely involve Children's Aid Society (CAS) in any child abuse investigation, but citizens can also report directly to the CAS in their area. It will launch its own investigation and take measures to support the child.

The York Regional Police Special Victims Unit also has strong partnerships with the following community organizations: