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Be Ready to Believe

Listen - Believe - Support

Although numbers are impossible to know for sure...

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If anyone, of any gender, of any age, talks about having unwanted or abusive sexual experiences as a child,

it is important to believe them and support them. 

What Do I Say? How Do I Respond?

  • ​Take it seriously. Stay calm and show concern. 

  • Be patient. Give the person plenty of time.

  • Listen carefully. Your eyes and ears are more important than your words. 

  • “I’m glad you told me.”  

  • “It was not your fault.” 

  • “Is there anything else you would like to tell me?”

  • “Let’s find some help for this,” (child/teen) or "Is there any way I can help you deal with this?" (adult)

  • You don’t have to know much or provide everything they need.

  • If it is a child or teen, you DO need to persist in helping until a qualified adult takes the child’s safety and well-being seriously.

  • More tips on talking to children, if they tell you about abuse or think it may be happening, from Darkness to Light

  • More guidance on following up on reported or suspected sexual abuse of a child at The Mama Bear Effect

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