A poster of ‘ways to talk to children about child abuse’. The points involve:
- Create a comfortable environment: This might not always be at home but must be private
- Be approachable: This is a serious topic, but the child is not to blame. Make sure there is an open, non-judgemental relationship so the child can confide in you.
- Clarify boundaries: A child is sexually aware from as young as two. If they don’t feel comfortable, chances are it’s inappropriate. Help them to see that others have boundaries too.
- Make no assumptions: Talk, but also listen. How is the child reacting, and what isn’t being said? An abused child will be used to keeping secret and might not open up straight away. Establish trust.
- There might not be signs: Simply put: a child might not be ready to tell you their story. This can take years, and often a child will not show obvious behaviour changes. Talking is key.
- Abusers can be anyone – including other children: It’s always happening to someone else – until it isn’t. 90% of abusers know the child – either as a trusted friend or a family member. Children can also play games like ‘doctors’ which could lead to unknowingly inappropriate behaviour.
Who is it for?
People scrolling through instagram, those looking for some quick nudges about how they can help.
Why does it work?
- Not a lot of reading involved
- Friendly design so feels less intimidating
What could be improved?:
Provide a text copy for those who are visually impaired or use a screen reader so that they are not left out of the conversation.
“Thank you for putting such serious information in a friendly style. I think it makes people want to engage with it more.”
A friend, 20s.
Method 3: ‘The Secrets worth sharing book’
This book is to help non-abusing adults and teens to have supportive conversations with people who have experienced sexual abuse as a child. I have included stories from others victims and survivors*, as well as guidance from clinical psychologists, councillors and healthcare professionals. Please feel free to read, download and share!
“I love the drawings of hijabis everywhere, because I never see images of people like me in picture books. This book is beautifully designed and makes me feel heard and seen in a way I wasn’t expecting.”
Victim of Childhood sexual abuse