How to Act Towards Your Child

Provide safety, love, and support. Let them know it is okay to cry or be mad. Make sure your child understands it is not his or her fault. Don't coach or pressure your child to talk about things.

What You Can Say

Some things you can say that will really help your child:
  • I believe you.
  • I know it's not your fault.
  • I'm glad I know about it.
  • I'm sorry this happened to you.
  • I will take care of you.
  • I'm not sure what will happen next.
  • Nothing about YOU made this happen. It has happened to other children too.
  • You don't need to take care of me.
  • I'm upset, but not with you.
  • I'm angry at the person who did this, not you.
  • I'm sad. You may see me cry. That's all right. I will be able to take care of you. I'm not mad at you.
  • I don't know why he/she did it. He/ she has a problem.
  • You can still love someone but hate what he/she did to you.
What You Can Do
Some things you can do:
  • Return to a normal routine as soon as possible.
  • See that your child receives therapy as soon as possible.
  • Trying to sweep the problem under the rug usually causes more problems because it will not go away.
  • Find help for yourself. You don't have to do it all yourself.
  • Contact the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) for assistance.
  • Teach your child the rules of personal safety. Tell them what to do if someone tries to touch them in an uncomfortable way.
  • Be careful not to question your child about the abuse. If you do, you can jeopardize the case in court against your child's abuser. Specially trained professionals will come to the CAC to interview your child to obtain necessary information without harming the case or further traumatizing him/her. If your child wants to talk about it, listen supportively, but do not probe.
  • Keep your child away from the person suspected of abuse. This is to protect the child, you and the suspect.
  • Avoid discussing the case with other victims or their families.
  • Never coach or advise your child on how to act or what to say to professionals or investigators. This could seriously damage the case.
  • Your child may need an extra sense of physical security.
  • Stay close and assure your child you will keep him/her safe.
  • Remember to give attention to your other children.