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Abuse Reporting Requirements

  • Emergency - Call 911
  • Vanderbilt Office of Risk and Insurance Management, Protection of Minors 615-936-5935
  • Tennessee Department of Children's Services Hotline 877-237-0004
  • Vanderbilt University Compliance Reporting Hotline 844-814-5935

Every member of the University community (not limited to individuals who interact with minors) is required by law to report known or suspected instances of the abuse of, neglect of or inappropriate interactions with minors. Members making a report in good faith will be protected from criminal and civil liability for making the report. It is important to understand that every member is required to report any type of suspected abuse, neglect or inadequate care rather than just child sexual abuse. A "child" in Tennessee is an individual under the age of 18 years. 

The following information provides contact names and numbers if you suspect a child has been abused. Please contact or call the Office of Risk and Insurance Management at 615-936-5935 if you have any questions. Other forms of misconduct, maltreatment, or Protection of Minors Conduct Code violations may also be reported to Risk Management. 

Excerpt from the Tennessee Department of Children's Service Website:

Everyone in Tennessee is a mandated reporter. Tennessee Code Annotated 37-1-403(i) (1) requires all persons to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. “Any person who has knowledge of or is called upon to render aid to any child who is suffering from or has sustained any wound, injury, disability, or physical or mental condition shall report such harm immediately if the harm is of such a nature as to reasonably indicate that it has been caused by brutality abuse, or neglect or that, on basis of available information, reasonably appears to have been caused by brutality, abuse, or neglect.” 

If child abuse is suspected, two reports, one external and one internal, must be made:

External Report

Tennessee law requires every person to make a report when they suspect sexual or physical abuse or neglect of a minor. Failure to report is a Class A misdemeanor. The required report may be made to the State of Tennessee Child Abuse Hotline at l-877-237-0004, online at or to a Tennessee sheriff’s office or police department, including VUPD at 615-322-2745. If the situation is a life threatening emergency, contact 911.

Internal Report

Every member of the University community has a further obligation to report known or suspected abuse or neglect of a Minor on campus or in a Vanderbilt program immediately to Vanderbilt University. The preferred method is to immediately contact the Director of Minors Programs in the Office of Risk Management and Insurance at 615-936-5935. Alternatively, known or suspected abuse or neglect of a Minor on campus or in a Vanderbilt program shall be reported to the University and Medical Center hotline at (844) 814-5935 or online at .

Recommended Guidelines for Reporting:

  • If you suspect, witness, or have knowledge of abuse occurring to a minor child (under 18), make a report.
  • If I tell my supervisor, do I still have to do an external report of child abuse? Yes, make a report if you have concerns a child is being abused.
  • If you think it might be abuse, but or you are worried about getting someone in trouble, report the behavior or concerns you have. The Office of Risk and Insurance Management is a resource in answering any "What happens next?" questions.
  • Allow the investigation to acquire the details, report what you know.
  • If the child is in immediate harm, report using 911.
  • For more on Tennessee Child Abuse Reporting and the response of the Dept. of Children’s Service, visit

Vanderbilt requires all persons working in Vanderbilt programs serving minors to agree to abide by a “Code of Conduct” when interacting with minors. If you witness a code of conduct violation that does not violate state law, but does violate conduct codes, report the behavior to your supervisor (if he/she is not the person exhibiting the behavior), and to Risk Management via 615-936-5935, or the Vanderbilt Occurrence Reporting System (, or the Vanderbilt University Compliance Hotline

We strengthen our community by working together to be the voice that protects children from abuse. Please contact  or 615-322-5155 if you have any questions.