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What if I want to tell someone?
While mandatory reporting laws vary by state, please be aware that some of the people you may want to discuss your experiences with could be mandated reporters. Mandated reporters are people required by law to report abuse to your state’s Department of Children and Family Services or other similar agency, and/or to law enforcement in order to keep a variety of people, including minors, safe. Doctors, teachers, and almost anyone who works with minors (generally defined as someone who is under the age of 18) is a mandatory reporter. This doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t talk to any of these people about your experiences – they are there to help you.
If you are worried about mandatory reporting, or what happens if a report is made, you can contact your state coalition for more information on your state’s mandatory reporting laws. You can call without giving any identifying information. You can also ask your coalition for a referral to an anonymous hotline, or any other services available to minors in your area.
Every state and territory has an organization that understands the laws and resources available in your state for sexual violence and domestic violence victims. For a full listing of coalitions by state or territory, click here.
No matter what your gender identity is, you are entitled to the same rights, accommodations and services as anyone else your age. Some survivors who identify as Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Queer or Questioning individuals; as a male survivor; a person of color; an immigrant; a person with a disability, etc. may have additional concerns about coming forward to tell someone or report the violence they have experienced. These are normal feelings, and your experience is absolutely valid and real.