Support for Children
Children and young people are victimised by crime more often than is realised. Sometimes, we think we are ‘protecting’ them but children need to talk things out too, and need the truth. Always make sure your communication with the child is simple and non-threatening. It is very important that the staff in charge at the child’s kindergarten, child care centre or school be informed about what has happened so they can be a real, every day, on-going support for the child. They have the skills and knowledge to identify behavioural and emotional trauma.
If a child tells you that they have been physically or sexually abused it is very important to take what they say seriously and to prioritise their safety as s/he may fear further abuse or retribution. Try to focus on his/her immediate emotional and practical needs. The child will probably feel damaged, hurt and betrayed. Many also feel guilty and responsible in some way, if not for what happened then for the disruption to the lives of those involved and their families, especially where the abuse involved is incestuous. Abused children are often also depressed and sad that a trusted person hurt them and that other trusted people were unable to protect them from harm.
The resources located in the Children's Games tab can be used to help explain crime and the justice system to children.