How to handle a disclosure/ how to report abuse

What do you say?

An adult’s reaction to a disclosure plays a very important role in the beginning of a child’s healing process. Correct reactions include:

• “I’m really glad you told me.”
• “You are so brave for telling me”
• “We will work together to get help so you can stay safe”
• “It is not your fault”
• “I will need to tell some other people who protect children”

Be aware of the child’s needs

• Do not make promises you can’t keep. Don’t promise you will not tell anyone since you will have to report the abuse.
• Respect the child’s confidentiality and only tell those you need to.
• Report a disclosure- you only need to suspect abuse you do not need to be an investigator
• Do not ask leading questions or probe for more information

Call and make a report

How do I report in my state?

Laws vary from state to state. It may be child protective services, a Department of Family and Child Services of your county, or law enforcement. If you suspect the offender is in the child’s home call child protective services. If a child is in imminent danger call 911.

What information do I need to make a report?

Necessary Information:

• Child’s name, address, and age
• Parent’s name and address
• Nature of the abuse
• Helpful Information
• Perpetrator’s name
• Details of the abuse
*If the child does not readily supply this information, do not continue to question or investigate. It could interfere later with the investigation. Remember you do not need proof of abuse only reasonable suspicion.

The benefits of your report may be longer term

Even though your report may not result in legal action, the investigation may cause other services to take place, like counseling or the provision of
necessities for the child.

Sometimes the investigating professionals may not be able to gather enough evidence to act on your report. Still, your report may become part of a series of reports that can lead to an action later.

Recommended Books to help keep children safe

1.The Shomrei Neshamos League And The Safety Mission

Shani Verschleiser and Sarit Rubenstein

2.Lauren’s Kingdom

Lauren Book

3.Let’s Stay Safe

Project Y.E.S.

4.Talking About Private Places

Bracha Goetz

5.Uncle Willie Tickles

Marcie Aboff

6.Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept

By Jayneen Sanders