Tools for Families and Schools

When Children Disclose Sexual Exploitation

Often children DO NOT disclose incidents of sexual exploitation. It is up to attentive adults to recognize the Signs of Sexual Exploitation

  • Then let them know that you believe them.
  • Support them and their decision to tell their story. It is normal for kids to fear telling others—especially parents.
  • Make it clear that telling you what happened was the right thing to do and that you will do your utmost to protect them from future harm.
  • Respect their privacy. Accompany them to a private place where they can relate the story. Be careful NOT to discuss the incident in front of people who do not need to know what happened. Express your love and confidence with words and gestures.

Keep the communication open with them so that they feel comfortable making additional disclosures and discussing feelings. It is vitally important that they believe that you are sympathetic, understanding, supportive and optimistic.