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How To Talk To A Child Who Has Been Sexually Abused...

Do believe the child.

Do try to remain calm.

Do praise the child for telling.

Do reassure the child.

Do listen to the child.

Do respect the child's privacy.

Do get help, be responsible.

How To Talk To A Child Who Has Been Sexually Abused

Printable PDF File


Do Believe the child. Rarely do children lie about sexual abuse. You may be the only one the child thinks can help.
Do Try to remain calm. This may be difficult, but shock or anger may only cause the child to withdraw.
Do Praise the child for telling. Tell the child that he or she has done the right thing and is safe with you.
Do Reassure the child. Make it clear that what happened is not his or her fault.
Do Listen to the child. Take the child to a private place and let the child tell you what happened in his or her own words. Give the child your full attention.
Do Respect the child's privacy. Be careful not to discuss the incidents in front of people who do not need to know what happened.
Do Get help, be responsible. Report the incident, arrange a medical check-up and seek counseling. (Report to: 1-800-4-A CHILD or 1-800-540-4000).


Don't panic or over react when the child talks to you about the experience. The child needs help and support to make it through this difficult time.
Don't blame the child. Sexual abuse is never the child's fault!

What You Should Do If Your Child Informs You Of Abuse Or You Suspect Child Abuse

Remain calm. In a reassuring tone, find out as much as you can about the incident.
Immediately report the situation to the police or sheriff's station and local child protective agency.
Get medical attention for your child from your doctor or hospital.
Discuss the need for counseling for your child with your doctor, social worker, law enforcement, or clergy member.

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