Child Sexual Abuse by a Household Member
Child abuse or neglect is defined in Chapter 350/Hawaii Revised Statutes as:
"The acts or omissions of any person who, or legal entity which, is in any manner or degree related to the child, is residing with the child, or is otherwise responsible for the child's care, that have resulted in the physical or psychological health or welfare of the child, who is under the age of 18, to be harmed, or to be subject to any foreseeable, substantial risk of being harmed."
Making a Report
If abuse or neglect of a child is suspected, call the Department of Human Services, Social Services Division, Child Welfare Services (CWS) at the following numbers:
- On Oahu: 808-832-5300 (24-hours a day)
- On the Neighbor Islands: 1-800-494-3991 (24-hours a day/toll free)
More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator.
Long–Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Common Questions About Reporting to Child Welfare Services
(A Guide for Mandated Reporters, Department of Human Services, 2015)
Q: What if I'm not sure about reporting?
Talk with the Department of Human Services regarding your concerns. You don’t need to prove that abuse or neglect has occurred before making a report. If the child has shared information with you about the abuse or neglect, this is enough for you to call.
Q: What happens following my report?
If the report is accepted for investigation, a CWS worker will be assigned to determine if the child has been harmed or is at risk of harm. They will gather as much information as possible by talking to the child, family members, and others in the community. Within 60-days of the date the report is assigned for investigation, a decision must be made whether the report is confirmed or not. You’ll be contacted about the outcome.
Q: Will the police get involved?
A report of suspected or substantial risk of child abuse or neglect must be made to CWS or the police. Depending on the circumstances and harm to the child, the police may become involved, whether at the request of the department or by a determination that immediate action must be taken or an investigation must be conducted.
Q: Will the family find out who made the report?
The Department makes every reasonable effort to maintain the confidentiality of a someone who reports an offense who requests that his or her name not be released. Anyone reporting in good faith is immune from liability.