Supporting A Child Who Discloses Abuse
When a child discloses an uncomfortable touch or sexual encounter to you, it might be one of the most difficult moments of your life as a parent, guardian, or adult caregiver. Here are some ways to positively handle these situations.
Important to know: Test Messages
Children don’t always clearly and directly tell that they’ve been abused. Sometimes information is provided a little at a time, and the process can span weeks, months, or even across years as children test reactions by adults around them. These subtle messages can sometimes be missed in the following ways:
Report Or Get Caring, Expert Guidance
When a child does disclose sensitive information to you, it’s important to relay this information to the appropriate professionals. They will investigate the incident for you. When you question a child, they might get defensive and withhold saying more.
If you suspect a child to be sexually abused, or a child has disclosed sexual abuse, call the agency for your county.
Outside the region, call your county social services or local law enforcement.
If a child has medical concerns due to the possible sexual abuse, go immediately to the nearest emergency room or medical facility.
Find More Resources
Find more information about typical behaviors of abusers, teaching a child body safety, and other steps to protect.