If a child tells you they have been sexually abused, we suggest you:
- Stay as calm as possible. Although the information may be upsetting to you, it is very important that you guard against displaying emotions that would influence the child’s telling of the information.
- Reassure the child that what happened was not their fault in any way and that no adult has the right to harm a child this way.
- Tell the child that they did the right thing by telling you and that you are going to help them.
- Encourage the child to tell you exactly what happened. Try to let the story come out at the child’s pace. Encourage them to tell you the details, but don’t ask leading questions or suggest events that may not have happened. Particularly for younger children, this can lead to the child becoming confused as to what exactly did occur.
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