I recently discovered a very simple test of whether a person will report child abuse. Or rather whether he is so tied up in knots about the complexities of halacha and the horror of mesira that he would not call the police unless a godol gave him permission.
The test is the story of the confused Jewish individual who exploded a bomb at the Santa Monica shul and then escaped to Denver where he was recognized by a rabbi who then called his rabbi for permission to call the police.
The test consists of "What would you do if you recognized the Santa Monica bomber - would you call the police or call your rabbi for permission to call the police."
One answer I got - "You can't really trust the police - after all look at the harsh sentence that Rubashkin got. You have to consider all sides of the issue and a godol would know best what to do. Perhaps the guy just needed some therapy and understanding."
The test illustrates the need for our educational system and rabbonim to educate the community in the laws of pikuach nefesh and rodef. Issues which often do not allow time for a telephone call. This is no different than teaching the issue of pikuach nefesh for Shabbos. One case I heard was of a avreich whose baby developed a fever of 105 over Shabbos. He read through Shmiras Shabbos and concluded that it was permitted but didn't feel comfortable about calling the doctor. After Shabbos he went to the doctor and was told that his child was brain damaged. In a state of shock and depression he went to speak to Rav Moshe Feinstein - "How can this happen? I just wanted to sure to avoid avoid chilul Shabbos. Rav Moshe was very upset and told him - "the halacha is very clear that this was a life threatening situation - there was no heter of being frum at the expense of your child."