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...

What NOT to say to your child following a discloser of abuse. 


Do not ask detailed questions about the abuse, as that will be covered by the appropriate authorities.
Do not ask why the child didn’t come to you sooner, as they may feel that they are in trouble.
Do not ask your child to “forget what happened”.  Sexual abuse is a traumatic event that can have lasting effects. Help your child to deal with their feelings in the appropriate manner through the proper counseling.


How could this happen to my child?

How did an offender gain access to my child?  An offender cannot be pinpointed by their appearance.  They are from all economic, ethnic, social, and educational backgrounds.  Many abusers are married with families, they may be community figures, or have criminal backgrounds.  Some children are abused by other children, who were once perpetrated on themselves.
Offenders use a variety of ways to gain access to your child that may have gone unnoticed.  Here are several red flags to look for:

An adult seeks out and establishes a strong relationship with a child.  They may buy them gifts, become their friend, and offer to watch your child when needed. 
They may play frequent touching games, wrestling, tickling, etc. with your child.  When sexual touches begin the touches may become confusing for your child. 
The offender may stress to your child to keep the touching secret and make them feel responsible for their actions.  They may tell your child they/their relationship is “special” and there may be repercussions if your child tells.



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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United Way of McHenry County