Remain calm. Overreacting can frighten your child or prevent your child from telling more. Emphasize that your child did the right thing by telling. Say, “I’m glad you told.” “I’m proud of you.” “I believe you.”
Stress that your child is not to blame and relay that your child will not be in trouble for telling. Do not talk negatively about the person of concern in front of your child. If you had a similar experience, such as abuse when you were a child, do not discuss your own history.
If your child makes a disclosure about being sexually abused, you can make a report either to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline at 855-503-SAFE (7233), or to the local law enforcement agency in the town, city, or county where it occurred. You do not need proof to make a report. The hotline screener may give you instructions on next steps.
Children should be medically evaluated by a professional trained in child abuse and neglect, such as the medical providers at the Children’s Center. If your child is having acute pain or has injury in the genital area, immediate medical attention should be sought. Randall Children’s Hospital is the designated hospital for child abuse and neglect for after-hours concerns.