The Child Advocacy Center
 of McHenry County
 1780 S Eastwood Drive
 Woodstock, IL 60098
 
 A 501(c)(3) organization


Special Information for Parents and Caregivers...

As a parent or caregiver there are a lot of concerns knowing your child has disclosed sexual abuse.  Here are a few common concerns that we can help address:


How do I REACT to my child who has disclosed sexual abuse?


First, try to keep your natural reactions under control.  You may want to react with a verbal or physical outburst.  It is best to share these reactions only with another adult at a later time.  DO YOUR BEST NOT TO CONFRONT THE ALLEGED OFFENDER ABOUT THE DISCLOSURE.  Your child needs to know that you believe them unconditionally.  The best support that you can provide is believing them.  It is your responsibility to report the abuse, not to prove the abuse occurred.


REMEMBER: Children will rarely lie about being sexually abused.  They are more likely to deny that it happened after a disclosure is made in fear of repercussions. 

 

What can I SAY to my child who has disclosed sexual abuse? 


A few supportive statements to help your child feel supported include:

 

Thank you for telling me. I believe you and I am glad that you told me. 
I don’t know what will happen next, but it is my job to help keep you safe.
This is not your fault. You did the right thing by telling an adult.
You are very important to me, and I will do my best to keep you safe.

 

As a parent or caregiver, it may be very upsetting if your child disclosed to another adult before you.  You may feel upset and hurt, but try to understand that your child is trying to protect you from being hurt.  Be thankful that they told an adult and reinforce your communication with your child at a later date.

Continue reading...

 

To report abuse, call the IL hotline at 1-800-25-ABUSE (1-800-252-2873) or your local police department.


  What to do if you suspect child abuse...
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