This is a guide to help caregivers when talking with children who may have been at risk for sexual abuse.
Please read this Guide in its entirety before talking with your child
- Teach your child it is not okay for someone to touch your child’s private parts.
- Teach your child that it is good to tell someone if he/she is touched on his/her private parts.
- Help your child identify people he/she could tell: a parent, teacher, trusted neighbor or police officer. Tell your child that it is good to tell, and give your child permission to tell an adult if he/she has been touched.
- Stay calm and neutral when talking to your child.
- Pay close attention to your words and actions. Show interest in what your child says. Do not react with shock, horror, or indifference.
- Don’t offer names of possible offenders or possible acts of abuse.
- Ask calmly, “Has someone touched you in a way that isn’t okay with you?” If your child does not seem to understand, you may need to ask, “Has someone touched your private parts?”
- Listen to the information, but don’t ask for all the details.
- Don’t videotape or audiotape your conversation with your child.
- Don’t repeatedly question your child.
- Allow your child to tell in his/her own way and in his/her own time.
- Let your child know that you believe what he/she is telling you.
- Don’t ask why your child didn’t tell sooner.
- Tell your child that it is not his/her fault and that he/she is not in trouble.
- If you are concerned your child has possibly been sexually abused, call the police or child protection.
These guidelines are provided by CornerHouse, Interagency Child Abuse Evaluation and Training Center.