Supporting Children and Youth

Supporting a Child or Youth Who has been Sexually Abused

As with any other victim/survivor, start by validating their feelings and acknowledging the courage it took for them to tell you. Let them know that you believe them and that the sexual violence was not their fault. Listen to them and let them tell their story in their own way.

When the victim/survivor is under the age of 16 you cannot promise them confidentiality and are required by law to report the abuse to your local child welfare agency. This is also the case for anyone under the age of 19 who is being/has been abused or neglected by a parent or guardian. It is important that you clearly explain any actions you take and what might happen next.

See Choices Following Sexual Violence module for more information on supporting youth.