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Identifying and Reporting Sexual Abuse


Identifying & Reporting Sexual Abuse & Trauma in Fayette County, IL

Sexual abuse can happen anywhere, to anyone. It is never the victim’s fault, regardless of what the abuser tells them. It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of abuse, and to know how and where to report if you suspect it is occurring.


When you or someone you know is suffering from sexual abuse or trauma in Fayette County, IL, turn to Sexual Assault and Family Emergencies (SAFE) for help. Our trained team will answer your questions about where and how to report, as well as what to expect from the process. We also offer a number of programs to assist during the recovery process, such as individual counseling, family counseling, and support groups.

It can be intimidating or even scary to report trauma or sexual abuse. However, it may be the most important thing you ever do for yourself or another person. Sexual abuse flourishes in secrecy. Reporting it is the first step to stopping it, recovering, and getting justice for the victim. We’re here to support you throughout the reporting and recovery process.


Warning Signs You Should Know

Sometimes it is hard to determine from the outside what is trauma or abuse and what is innocent behavior. After all, people generally want to assume the best of others. Unfortunately, however, these crimes are more common than many people assume. That’s why it’s important to learn the warning signs. While everyone reacts in different ways, some common red flags include:

Sudden Changes in Behavior

Fear of Certain People or Places

Self-Harm or Self-Destructive Behaviors

          Substance Abuse

          Trouble Sleeping

Sudden Loss or Increase of Appetite

Anxiety, Depression, or Extreme Anger


Using a Phone

How to Report Child Sexual Abuse to DCFS

  • Call the DCFS hotline at 1-800-25ABUSE (1-800-252-2873)
  • Have the Following Information, If Possible: Child's Name, Date of Birth, Address, Phone Number, Information About Siblings, Parents/Guardian's Name
  • Identify if You Are a Mandated Reporter
  • State if You Think the Situation is an Emergency
  • State Why You Have Reason to Believe the Child is Abused or Neglected (Report Factual Information and Observations)
  • Document the Name of the Hotline Worker and the Date and Time of Your Call
  • Complete the DCFS Report Form (This Form Must Be Sent to the Local DCFS Investigative Unit; Keep A Copy for Your Records)

Domestic Violence Programs

  • Christian County
    SOJOURN - (217) 726-5200
  • Clay County
    SWAN - (618) 392-3556 or (888) 715-6260
  • Clinton County
    PAVE - (800) 924-8444
  • Effingham County
    SWAN - (217) 342-4526 or -4528
  • Fayette County
    SWAN - (618) 2839179 or (800) 284-7318
  • Jasper County
    SWAN - (618) 392-3556 or (888) 715-6260
  • Marion County
    PAVE - (800) 924-8444
  • Montgomery County
    SOJOURN - (217) 726-5200
  • Shelby County
    DOVE - (217) 774-3121 or (217) 774-4888

Sexual Assault Programs

  • Bond, Clay, Clinton, Effingham, Fayette, Hamilton, Jefferson, Marion, Washington, Wayne, and White Counties
    SAFE – (800) 625-1414

  • Christian County
    PCASA - (217) 744-2560 or 217-753-8081
  • Jasper County
    CAISA - (888) 345-2846 or (866) 288-4888
  • Montgomery County
    PCASA - (217) 744-2560 or (217) 753-8081
  • Shelby County
    Growing Strong - (217) 428-0770

Contact us to learn more about the warning signs of sexual abuse and the reporting process. Our crisis center serves clients from throughout Bond, Clay, Clinton, Effingham, and Fayette Counties, as well as the surrounding areas.