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Have you ever reported another mom for suspected abuse?

Dec. 28, 2010 at 11:30 PM ET

"Teen Mom" star Amber Portwood is out on bail after pleading not guilty to charges of domestic violence. Police started investigating the 20-year-old reality TV star after a September episode of the MTV show "Teen Mom" showed her slapping, choking and kicking the 24-year-old father of her daughter, who is now 2. Portwood is charged with domestic battery and child neglect – her child, Leah, reportedly witnessed at least two instances of alleged domestic violence caught on camera.

Watch experts discuss the Teen Mom case on TODAY.

Dozens of viewers called the state’s child-abuse hotline to report Portwood’s outbursts, a spokesperson for the Indiana Department of Child Services said. Interesting side note: under Indiana law, anyone who witnesses child abuse is required by law to report it, not just caregivers as in most states. So MTV camera-people and producers could theoretically be in trouble, though that's probably unlikely.

Sometimes abuse is really clear-cut – say, hypothetically speaking, when it’s filmed and broadcast on a major cable channel. But in real life, as opposed to reality television, making the call can be a lot harder. Obviously, protecting children has got to be our first priority; but at the same time, if you're not sure, a false accusation could really mess with someone's life. Have you ever suspected that a child you knew was being abused, or witnessing abuse – and if so, what did you do? Have you ever called Child Protective Services on another parent?

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