When you have a child who is raised by two people regularly, the likelihood is that they’ll feel a connection to both parents for better or worse. In some cases, that connection can mean that a child does not tell another parent when something is wrong. Instead, they hide what happened or might talk about what’s happening to them with friends or on social media.

If you are a parent who is concerned about child abuse but don’t have any evidence to substantiate your claim, it may be time to turn to social media. If your child uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or other services, you may be able to gain access to their feeds and be able to gather photos or information about the other parent’s actions.

How can social media help you prove abuse?

The first thing that it can do is give you a direct line to your child. You can see what they upload to their pages and how they interact with others. You can usually see posts they create, which may contain images. Of course, with most social media platforms, it’s possible to block parents and others from seeing your feeds. In that case, it may be better to ask a friend or relative who has been added to allow you to see what your child has been posting online.

Images speak a thousand words, so the first place to start is with any photographs posted. For example, if you collect photos of your child with a black eye that they were complaining about or broken bones from “accidents,” then you can put those together in a file and be prepared with them to talk with your child. If you did not previously have access to those photos due to restrictions on the account, these could be something to discuss with your child directly while requesting access with their permission.

Read what they have to say as well. Sometimes, posts about depression, suffering or fights with parents seem normal to others, but you may have a different experience with your ex-spouse that lets you know that they’re red flags.

Overall, social media can be a good starting point for collecting evidence of abuse. Gather whatever information you can, and sit down with your child to discuss their safety and what you expect them to talk to you about. Taking this step could help prevent further injuries.