Keeping Kids Safe: What to do if your child tells you he has been abused

Source: one tough job

Stop It Now offers this advice on how to respond when your child tells you he has been abused:

Remain calm.

Your child will be looking to you for support, so be strong for them.

Assume that they are telling the truth.

It is very rare that a child will falsely disclose. Ask clarifying, but not leading, questions and let them know you believe them and are thankful that they were honest with you.

Remind them that you will protect them.

Help your child to feel protected by finding out what they need to feel safe.

Tell them this was not their fault.

Remind your child that they are in no way to blame and that they should not feel responsible for what has happened.

Find an appropriate outlet to vent.

You will feel a wide range of emotions, but it is important that you express these feelings privately to other trusted adults and not in the presence of your child.

Report the abuse and get your family help.

Even though you may feel inclined to handle the situation privately, it’s important that you reach out to get your child and your family the help that they need to heal.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers the What to Do if Your Child Discloses Sexual Abuse tip sheet for more information about disclosure.

In cases of child abuse, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) can get involved. To learn more about the DCF, here are some tips on understanding the Department of Children and Families.

Other articles:

Learning the Warning Signs: Recognizing Sexual Abuse

Source: NSOPW (Department of Justice National Sex Offender Public Website)

The NSOPW describes the different behaviors associated with children and teens who have been sexually abused, as well as offering help and support if you suspect that sexual abuse has occurred.

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What is Child Abuse?

Source: KidsHealth

Child abuse happens when a parent or other adult causes serious physical or emotional harm to a child. Read this article to learn more about the different types of abuse including, physical. sexual, emotional, and neglect and what to do if you suspect your child is being abused.

Keeping Kids Safe: How to Start Talking

Source: Committee for Children

Talking with your child about things like touching and private body parts isn’t easy. It’s common to feel uncomfortable and embarrassed, and you may not know where to start. But the good news is, you can weave these conversations into the interactions you have with your kids every day, like bedtime, reading time, and at meals.