Handling Disclosures

It is difficult to imagine that anyone would want to harm a child. But the truth is that there are many people who will. About 1 in 10 children are sexually abused before they turn 18.

Sometimes, talking to children about topics addressed in the GERI books can lead to a child opening up about violence or abuse they have experienced. We call this “making a disclosure.”

It’s usually difficult to receive this disclosure, but it’s important to remember that this is a result of your support. The child felt safe enough to tell you. This is important because, all too often, children and teens don’t initially disclose abuse out of fear.

Below are three important steps you can take following a disclosure:

1) Thank them for trusting you and let them know you believe them.

2) Let them know that what was done to them was not their fault and that you’re sorry they were harmed.

3) Keep them away from the person who did it.