Facts, Tips and Resources to help you help others.

Handling Disclosures of Abuse

What would you do if a child discloses abuse?

  1. The best way to respond to a child you suspect may have been abused is to listen carefully and be attentive to the child's behavior. Children are often cautious when disclosing abuse. They may speak using childish language or use terms that are unfamiliar to you. Some children may not say anything about the abuse but may assume that the abuse has marked them in some way that should be obvious to adults. It is for this reason that you should be aware of the physical and behavioral indicators of child abuse.
  2. If a child discloses to you it is important not to carry out an investigation yourself as this may jeopardize the case in a court of law.

What should you do?

  1. Believe the child.
  2. Listen open and calmly
  3. Reassure the child.
  4. Write down the facts.
  5. Report the disclosure.

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