How to Talk to My Child About Abuse

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Know how to talk to your child about abuse.

If you are concerned about child abuse, the first place to start is to talk to your child. At the same time, you may wonder, “How do I talk to my child about abuse?” Talking to your child about a potential abusive situation is never easy. At The Dragonfly House Children’s Advocacy Center, we recommend the following strategies when you want to have an open conversation with your child about an abusive situation:

  • Pick the time and place of the conversation carefully. Choose a space to talk to your child where they feel comfortable. Avoid talking to your child in front of someone who could be responsible for the harm.

How to Talk to My Child About Abuse

  • Watch your tone during the conversation. If you start off with a serious tone or are visibly worried, you may scare your child. As a result, they may only give you the answers that you want to hear.
  • Use phrasing and questions that your child will understand but are still relatively vague in nature. You want to help them open up about their experiences, but you do not want to inadvertently lead them.
  • Give your child the opportunity to talk freely. Pause between questions and then follow up on any points that sparked your concern.
  • Avoid placing any judgement on your child. Reassure your child that they are not in any trouble and that you are only asking questions because you are worried about them. Make sure they know you believe them and will love and support them through any actions that need to be taken.

If you want to know more about how to talk to my child about abuse, we can help. Our mission is to end child abuse in our community and provide resources and support to children and families suffering from the effects of abuse.