Queen of Hearts Community Foundation liaises and provides Advice and Referrals with highly trained, qualified and fully registered psychologists, lawyers and like minded organisations and services to help support to children, young people, adults, and non offender family members affected by child sexual abuse.
Many children are reluctant to disclose because they feel ashamed or embarrassed, often blaming themselves, or they may think they will not be believed.
- Tell the child that you believe them and that you will support them.
- Try not to show any negativity with regard to anything the child discloses to you. They are looking for reassurance that they are believed and safe.
- Let the child or young person use their own words in describing their experience. It may be helpful to assist the child by saying “Tell me more about that” rather than asking questions. The investigation of the disclosure should only be undertaken by professional child protection workers or Police, J.I.R.T (Joint Investigative Response Team).
It’s Not their fault
A child disclosing sexual abuse needs to be reassured that in no way it is their fault. They are not to blame for not telling anyone about it sooner.
It is natural for children to feel they are the cause of the behaviour and feelings of those around them.
It is always the adult’s responsibility to set the limit or to say ‘no’. The child is never at fault. Stress to the child that the person who abused them did something wrong. This can help free the child from feelings of self-blame.
Let the child or young person know what you will do next
Child abuse often leaves children feeling disempowered and lacking control in their own lives. Keeping the child informed of each step can make the process less intimidating and can help return a sense of power and security.
Make the call
Notify Police and appropriate authorities and social services organisations, such as child protective services, as soon as possible.
Police, Ambulance, Fire – 000
Child Protection Services – Phone: 132 111 (24 hours/7 days)