Direct and Indirect Disclosures

Direct disclosures

Sometimes children will tell you directly that they are being abused or neglected. They might begin with one example and see how you react. Research shows that children often tell about their experiences many times before action is taken to respond.

Indirect disclosures

In other cases, children do not tell directly, but communicate what they have experienced indirectly – through their behaviours, emotions, art, writing, appearance, inquiries or discussions about fears, concerns or relationships.

Children also divulge information through indirect statements, statements with conditions (e.g., “promise not to tell”) or third-party statements (e.g., “my friend’s parent is hurting her”).