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Professionals FAQs

Knowledge is critical to Prevention, Protection, and Healing

Understanding child abuse helps you be in a better position to both prevent abuse and know how to respond if abuse occurs. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about abuse. If you still have questions or need additional information, please call us at (843) 723-3600.
We are here to help.

  • What are the types of child abuse?

    There are several types of child abuse. All forms of abuse can have similar negative consequences for child victims.  Read more about the types here.

  • What type of person sexually abuses children?

    There is no one set of characteristics that describes people who sexually abuse children. Sex offenders are represented in every socioeconomic, ethnic, religious, and racial group. We do know that over 90% of child sex offenders are someone that the victim and the victim’s family knows and trusts.

  • Who is a Mandated Reporter?

    South Carolina law requires that certain professionals report known or suspected cases of child abuse or neglect, because they have unique opportunities to observe and interact with children. The following professionals are mandated reporters of child abuse or neglect:

    Healthcare professionals, educational professionals, social or public assistance professionals, legal professionals, undertakers, funeral home directors, funeral home employees, film processors, computer technicians, clergy, including Christian Science Practitioners, or religious healers.

    However, the law encourages all persons to report.

  • How can I make a report as a Mandated Reporter?

    Whether a mandatory reporter makes the report to the Department of Social Services(DSS) or to law enforcement depends upon the identity of the alleged perpetrator of the abuse or neglect. When the alleged perpetrator of the abuse or neglect is the child’s parent, guardian, or a person responsible for the child’s welfare, mandated reporters must report to DSS office or to Law Enforcement in the county where the child resides or is found.

    When the alleged perpetrator of the abuse or neglect is not the child’s parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child’s welfare, the law requires that a report be made to law enforcement.  However, only the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction where the incident occurred has the authority to conduct an investigation.

    Contact 911 immediately if the situation is a life-threatening emergency.

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