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How can I provide a safe environment for a child to disclose abuse?

To provide a safe environment for a child to disclose abuse, make sure the setting is confidential and comfortable. Avoid communicating with shock, horror or fear about anything said, even though what you are hearing is likely shocking and horrifying. The child may interpret your reaction as you being shocked and horrified by him or her and shut down. The child needs you to be confident and supportive. Speak slowly and maintain a calm demeanor. Tell the child he or she is doing the right thing and that you will do what you can to help them.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.