Pay attention, listen and always believe. Children don’t make these things up.
Although it is important to be aware of the possible indicators of sexual abuse, the majority of sexual abuse cases involving children do not leave any physical evidence or display overt behavioural concerns. The most reliable indicator of sexual abuse is a child’s report of the abuse.
Children often internalize the abuse, struggle with the intentions of the behaviour and/or feel emotionally connected to their abuser and therefore any disclosure needs to be approaching carefully and seriously.
If a child confides in you regarding sexual abuse, assure them that you care about their well-being and that you believe them. Children are very perceptive of adult emotions; try to remain calm and focused on their child’s descriptions – try not to allow your personal biases or emotions into influence the conversation. Take notes (if possible) or document the child’s disclosure afterwards. Try not to ask leading questions such as “did _________…
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