When There are Indicators

Children do not always tell us about their abuse or neglect, and sometimes the indicators are not obvious.

When you see indicators and are talking to children about possible abuse or neglect, the following points may be helpful.

  • Choose your approach carefully. The child may be fearful or reluctant to talk about what happened.
  • Be relaxed and casual. If you appear anxious or exhibit strong feelings, the child may withdraw.
  • Keep it private. Make sure you have enough time and a private setting with little chance for interruptions. The child is more likely to confide in you in a place where he or she feels safe.
  • Be neutral. Express your concerns to the child in a neutral and objective manner and seek or ask for their explanation for the indicators you have observed.
  • Be a good listener. Pay attention and express your confidence in the child. This shows your genuine concern for his or her safety and well-being.