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help for parents

did you know?

Only about one third of child sexual abuse incidents are identified, and even fewer are reported.

Information for Parents

The single most important factor affecting the child's recovery is the level of support that the child receives from the parents or caregivers. If you do everything you can to support your child, the chances of recovery are much greater. It is that simple.

Your child will be visiting The Child Advocacy Center because of concerns about possible abuse. You may have some questions about The Child Advocacy Center and what will happen there. Please consult the FAQs section of this website for more information.

Our goals are to:

  • Do the best job possible in finding out what happened;
  • Work with the legal system to help the child;
  • Help you understand the child protective and legal systems;
  • Help make the process as comfortable as possible for you; and
  • Help your child and family begin to heal.

Child abuse is a complex problem. Each child is likely to react differently if they have been abused. Below is a list of some symptoms that your child may show as a result of abuse:

  • Nausea/upset stomach
  • Crying
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Withdrawal from others
  • Clinging to parents
  • Change in school performance
  • Sexually inappropriate behavior
  • Changes in appetite
  • Nightmares
  • Anger and mood changes
  • Attention seeking
  • Fears and phobias
  • Avoidance of school/friends

Ways You Can Support Your Child

Let your child know that it is okay to cry or be mad. Make sure that your child understands it is not his or her fault. Here are some things that you can say that will help your child:

  • I believe you.
  • I know it isn't your fault.
  • I'm glad that I know about it.
  • I'm sorry that this happened to you.
  • I will take care of you.
  • You can still love someone but hate what they did to you.
  • I am upset, but not with you.

Here are some things that you can do to help your child recover:

  • Return to a normal routine as soon as possible.
  • See that your child receives therapy as soon as possible. Avoiding or minimizing the abuse can cause problems because the effects of the abuse will not go away without help.
  • Find help for yourself. Contact Starting Point or your local crisis center for help (1-800-277-5570). You don't have to do it all yourself.
  • Keep your child away from the person suspected of the abuse.
  • Avoid discussing the case with other victims or their families.
  • Teach your child the rules of personal safety. Tell them what to do if someone does something that makes them feel uncomfortable.
  • Your child may need an extra sense of physical security. Stay close, and assure your child that you will keep him or her safe.
  • Remember to give attention to your other children.