Child Sexual Abuse by a Household Member

Child abuse or neglect is defined in Chapter 350/Hawaii Revised Statutes as follows:

"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 minor is suspected, call the Department of Human Services, Social Services Division, Child Welfare Services (CWS) at the following numbers:

  • On Oahu: 832-5300 (24 hours a day)
  • On the neighbor islands: 1-800-494-3991 (24 hours a day/toll free)

Common Questions About Reporting to Child Welfare Services (Mandated Reporter Booklet, Department of Human Services, January 2003)

  1. What if I'm not sure about reporting?

    You can consult with the Department of Human Services regarding your concerns or observations. You do not need to be prepared 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.

  2. What happens following my report?

    If the report is accepted for investigation, a CWS worker will be assigned to investigate to determine if the child has been harmed or is at risk of harm. The worker will gather as much information as possible by talking to the child, family members, and if necessary, 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 will be contacted regarding the outcome of your report.

  3. Will the police get involved?

    A report of suspected child abuse or neglect or substantial risk of child abuse or neglect must be made to CWS or the police. Depending on the circumstances of the report and harm to the child, the police may become involved whether at the request of the department or by a determination by the police that they need to take immediate action and/or conduct an investigation.

  4. Will the family find out who made the report?

    The Department makes every reasonable effort to maintain the confidentiality of a reporter who requests that his/her name not be released. Anyone reporting in good faith is immune from liability.