Do you suspect or know a child that has been sexually abused by another child or adult?
Here are important steps to take:
Believe the child. Let the child know you believe her/him. Tell the child that the abuse was not her/his fault.
Listen to the child. Let the child tell you what happened in her/his own words and know that the explanation may be incomplete. Typically, details come out as time passes. Young children in particular, may not know how to explain what happened to them. Some children may deny the incident ever occurred.
Do not confront the abuser or rapist – this is the responsibility of law enforcement. The most important thing that you can do is get the child help.
If you have additional questions or just want to speak with someone in confidence, call the NOVA hotline at 1-800-675-6900.