Identifying Child Sexual Abuse: What to do when a Child tells you about Sexual Abuse
When a child chooses to tell you about an incident of sexual abuse, your immediate reaction is key to the child’s safety, well-being and recovery.
Points to remember when listening to a child disclosing about abuse that they have suffered:-
- Believe the child
- Even if you are shocked don’t panic, or disbelieve the child because the child is counting on you to provide support
- Reassure them that it is NOT their mistake
- Let the child know he/she is safe now
- Recognize their courage to speak about such a difficult issue
- Be a listener and not an investigator
- Do not put words in the child’s mouth
- Do not question the child as to why he/she did not tell earlier
- Be aware of your tone of voice and help the child understand what you are feeling
- Reassure the child that they have done the right thing by telling you and that they are not in trouble
- Do not make promises that you cannot keep like you won’t tell anybody, as you need to tell someone to help the child deal with the abuse
- Keep information confidential- only those who absolutely need to know should be told
- Seek professional intervention and support
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The following slides put together by Aarambh can help you understand and handle the situation. Remember to handle your own emotions before you reach out to the child.
Click on the thumbnails below To view Infographics on How to Systematically Handle Cases of Child Sexual Abuse in Your Institution. Click on links below for the infographics in Marathi language.