State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist
Governor

Robert A. Butterworth
Secretary


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Al Zimmerman
February 08, 2006 850-488-4855

DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES UNVEILS NEW METHOD
TO REPORT ELDER AND CHILD ABUSE

TALLAHASSEE- The Florida Department of Children and Families announced today a new method to report child and adult abuse. Floridians can now visit the Department's Web site and file an abuse report online. The secure Web site is available to report suspicions of child abuse, abandonment, and/or neglect, and the abuse, neglect and/or exploitation of disabled adults and the elderly.

"Whether it is reported through the internet or over the phone, I encourage all Floridians to take action when they believe someone is the victim of abuse," said Department Secretary Bob Butterworth. "It is the responsibility of not just the Department of Children and Families, but every Floridian to ensure that no one in the state is neglected or abused."

In 2006, Florida's Abuse Hotline, 1-800-96ABUSE (800-962-2873), received approximately 348,000 calls, resulting in 253,871 reports filed. However, many victims of abuse receive no assistance because their suffering goes unreported. The new online reporting technology provides citizens with another resource to protect the vulnerable and assist the Department in keeping all Floridians safe.

The Web and phone reporting system should be used to report concerns of abuse and/or neglect unless a child, elder, or person with disabilities appears to be in immediate danger. If the abuse or neglect is likely to result in death or serious harm (without intervention), call 911 or your local law enforcement agency.

To file an abuse report online, simply visit the Department of Children and Families Web site at http://www.state.fl.us/cf_web/ and click on the icon titled "Report Abuse Online."

In addition to the hotline and online reporting, a fax number, 1-800-914-0004, and a TDD number, 1-800-453-5145, for the deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired are available to report instances of alleged abuse.

For more information about the Florida Abuse Hotline, reporting abuse online and the actions of the Department of Children and Families to combat abuse in the state of Florida visit http://www.state.fl.us/cf_web/.


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