How to respond to a disclosure of child abuse
Would you know what to do if a child disclosed abuse to you?
Remain calm and
Do not let the child see or sense any negative emotions or reactions. An overreaction may traumatize the child.
Be an active
Following your conversation, document all information and details that can be used in an investigation.
Let the child lead the discussion
Do not fill in any blanks or ask probing and leading questions. Let the child tell you what has happened in their words.
Let the child provide additional details
Thank the child for sharing. Do not risk overwhelming the child or contaminating the evidence by seeking additional details.
Tell the child you
Reassure the child that they will be supported and kept safe by trusted adults. Thank them for their bravery and tell them that it is not their fault.
Be honest and
Tell the child that you are going to tell other adults who can keep them safe. Do not promise or assume outcomes, i.e. “the offender is going to jail”.
Receiving information regarding child abuse can be difficult. Recognize when you are in need of assistance following
Report the disclosure to authorities
Please contact us for resources and other additional contacts that will aid you in reporting this case of child abuse. Take a deep breath.