Know the Law
In accordance with MS. Code 43-21-353, any attorney, physician, dentist, intern, resident, nurse, psychologist, social worker, family protection worker, family protection specialist, child caregiver, minister, law enforcement officer, public or private school employee or any other person having reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a neglected child or an abused child, shall make a verbal report immediately by telephone or otherwise and followed as soon thereafter as possible by a report in writing to the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services.
The identity of the person who made the report will remain confidential, except when the court determines the testimony of the person reporting is material to the judicial proceeding, or when the identity of the reporter is released to law enforcement and the prosecutor. Professionals cannot rely on another person to make the report.
How to Respond
If a child reveals abuse or neglect, remain calm. It’s important to believe the child, but refrain from making promises. Assure the child that he/she did the right thing and is not to blame for the abuse. Do not question the child about the experience, leave all questioning up to the authorities.
Who to Call
The MDCPS statewide intake line provides a central point of contact for all allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation for the State of Mississippi that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. Reports are promptly sent to the county of responsibility.
Mississippi Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights and Crime Victim Compensation
Victims of crime, as a defined by law, shall have the right to be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect throughout the criminal justice process; and to be informed, to be present, and to be heard, when authorized by law, during public hearings. If you or a family member have been a victim of a violent crime and have financial losses resulting from injuries that are not covered in full by insurance or any other source, there may be some assistance available to you. While no amount of financial aid can erase the trauma of crime, these funds are available to ease the aftermath of crime whenever possible. For more information see the links below or contact us at 601-940-6183.
For a full list of Victims’ Bill of Rights click here.
For Crime Victim Compensation click here.