CHILDREN'S HOME SOCIETY of South Dakota
 

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What To Do If a Child Discloses

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What you should do

If a child discloses abuse to you, the most important things you can say are:

  • "I believe you."

  • "This isn't your fault."

  • "We are going to get help."

10 Tips for Handling a Disclosure:

5 Do's

  • Listen to and believe the child.

  • Write down the exact words the child used.

  • Thank the child for having the courage to tell you.

  • Protect the child by not discussing the allegation with others.

5 Don'ts:

  • Do NOT use shocked or disbelieving words or body language.

  • Do NOT express doubt, even if you are skeptical.

  • Do NOT suggest or guess that the child might have been abused.

  • Do NOT make a conclusion about the validity of the allegation.

Most importantly, Do NOT ask the child ANY questions. Asking questions may result in tainting the child's memory of the event or compromising the integrity of the investigations.

 

   

       To Report Child Abuse      
Call 1-877-244-0864

 
   
 
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Children's Home Society
PO Box 1749
801 N Sycamore Ave
Sioux Falls, SD 57101-1749
605.334.6004