What to do if a child reveals abuse.
Listen carefully to what they're saying:
Be patient and focus on what you’re being told. Try not to express your own views and feelings. If you appear shocked or as if you don’t believe them it could make them stop talking and take back what they’ve said.
Let them know they've done the right thing by telling you:
Reassurance can make a big impact. If they’ve kept the abuse a secret it can have a big impact knowing they’ve shared what’s happened.
Tell them it's not their fault:
Abuse is never a child’s fault. It’s important they hear, and know, this.
Say you'll take them seriously:
They may have kept the abuse secret because they were scared they wouldn’t be believed. Make sure they know they can trust you and you’ll listen and support them.
Don't confront the alleged abuser:
Confronting the alleged abuser could make the situation worse for the child.
Explain what you'll do next:
For younger children, explain you’re going to speak to someone who will able to help. For older children, explain you’ll need to report the abuse to someone who can help.
Report what the child has told you as soon as possible:
Report as soon after you’ve been told about the abuse so the details are fresh in your mind and action can be taken quickly. It can be helpful to take notes as soon after you’ve spoken to the child. Try to keep these as accurate as possible.
If a child reveals abuse to you, it's important to take it seriously, listen and report. And it's vital you take the next steps to help keep them safe.