Short answer? It doesn't do any good.
Long answer? Waaay too long and nuanced for me to get into.
Anyhow, here's my story if you want to read it.
I did report. My mother slapped me and called me a liar. I told the school counselor and was taken out of the house that evening by police and family members.
** Police from two counties — the one I was living in and the one my grandparents lived in.
** My maternal grandparents, my stepfather's sister and her husband.
** I went home with the grands and lived there until my majority as a ward of the state.
My brother and sister were taken also and adopted by different families. I've seen them once or twice since then.
** J was adopted by the aforementioned aunt. He was living there anyhow.
** S was adopted by an unrelated family. Turns out the father there was a predator also.
I had to testify in court.
** I DID NOT KNOW WHAT HE HAD DONE WAS A PART OF SEX. I had to tell the mechanics of it. "He did this, then this, then he said this, then he did that." I was so freaking scared. He was right there in the courtroom. Looking back, I don't think it was a trial. I think it was a custody hearing.
Mom TRIED TO KEEP ME IN THE HOUSE WITH THE MAN WHO MOLESTED ME. She tried to keep my sister in the house with the man who said that if I didn't cooperate, he would just go use her instead. I was ten. My sister (his daughter!) was three.
HE DID NOT SPEND A SINGLE HOUR IN CUSTODY. HE LOST NOTHING.
** A dozen years later, when I was a mother myself, I got a call at work from the Red Cross. He had gutshot her and left her for dead, took all her clothes for his girlfriend.
** SHE STILL REFUSED TO BELIEVE ME
For anyone who wonders why I might wince or startle if you speak or touch me suddenly, or why I absolutely HATE being tickled, now you know.