For Teens

Questions You May Have

If I tell a teacher, doctor, or counselor that I have been raped, will they call the police?
Doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, school teachers and administrators, and certain other professionals who reasonably suspect that a minor (a child or a teenager under 18 years of age) has been abused or sexually assaulted are generally required by law to report the crime to the police or to another child protection agency. These laws exist to protect minors and to help make sure that abused minors and their families get the help they need to deal with the emotional and physical effects of the abuse. Rape is a form of sexual abuse.

If you are under 18 years of age and you tell a doctor, nurse, school counselor, teacher, or other professional that you have been raped or sexually assaulted, that person is generally required by law to notify the police or child protective services agency in your community. Child protective services is a general term that refers to agencies that are responsible for protecting the safety of minors. The child protection agency in your area may be called Child Protective Services, the Department of Child and Family Services, or a similar name.

If you don't want the police to know about your assault, or if you aren't sure about what will happen if the crime is reported, you can call your local hotline or rape crisis center and talk with a counselor about your concerns without giving your name. A CALL TO A HOTLINE IS ANONYMOUS AS LONG AS YOU DO NOT TELL THE COUNSELOR OR ADVOCATE YOUR NAME OR YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER. The counselor should be able to explain what will happen if the police are contacted and help you think through this decision. Counselors and advocates can also arrange to be with you when you talk with the police.






For Teens