Did you know that an only 230 out of every estimated 1,000 sexual assaults (source: DoJ) get reported to the police?
A lot of abuse goes unreported due to the following common reasons:
These are valid concerns. However, if we let these people be, others may fall under the same fate as they never face the consequences of their actions. This is why it is important to report abuse when it happens.
It is very useful to keep a journal of how you have been abused and in what way, if you are currently living with or seeing the abuser. This can be very useful as it provides detailed information on what exactly is happening.
Please check the laws in your area first if two two-party consent is necessary. You could potentially record your abuse as it happens. This would be very strong evidence.
Telling your friends and/or family about the abuse that is happening will help you in terms of both validation, and being able to have an source that can help you defend your report. Neighbours can help too, if the abuse is verbal, as they can say what they have heard as well as any noise disturbances.
In the case of sexual violence, it is highly recommended that you go to a sexual assault clinic in order to make sure you are unharmed physically, as well as being able to have evidence of the assault through a forensic investigation.
In the case of physical abuse, you may wish to include photographs of any scars or wounds that were specifically caused by abuse.
All medical professionals have a duty to safeguard. Your GP (family doctor) can help you, as well as a psychiatrist or a counsellor, as they are trained to deal with instances of abuse.
Here are some suggestions of where you could make a report.
If you are in danger - emergency services for your country.
Non-emergency police numbers, including your local police department.
Your council/state/country's safeguarding services.
If you are a minor - child protection sevices.
Your school/university's safeguarding officers. If this is a work-related incident, try speaking to HR or safeguarding.
Your GP or another suitable medical professional.
A domestic violence charity - these are predominantly female, although there is an increasing amount of male charities.
Local shelters for domestic abuse.