Child abuse


This section will help you understand your responsibilities under the law if you are concerned that a child or young person may have been harmed, or is at risk of being harmed.

It also provides a brief overview of types of harm and how you can respond to a child and support them if they talk to you about abuse. 

When you should report

In the Northern Territory, you must make a report if you reasonably believe a child has been harmed or exploited, or that a child is likely to be harmed or exploited.

This is a legal responsibility under the Care and Protection of Children Act 2007 and is called mandatory reporting.

Your report should include any relevant information about your concerns for the child's safety and wellbeing.

You don't need proof of harm or abuse to report your concerns - you just need a reasonable belief that a child has been harmed or is likely to be harmed.

If you are worried about neglect or harm to a child but are not sure if it's something you should report, you should talk about your concerns with professional staff at the Child Abuse Hotline on 1800 700 250.

You are safeguarded under the law from legal or professional liability if you make a report in good faith. 

How to report

In an emergency call 000 and ask for police.

If it's not an emergency, call police on 131 444 or contact your local police station.

You can also report suspected child abuse and neglect to either:

  • the Child Abuse Hotline on 1800 700 250
  • or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Read more about reporting child abuse.


This information was adapted from the Parent Easy Guide series © Parenting SA, Government of South Australia.

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Last updated: 01 February 2019


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