Talking with a Child or Teen Who May Be At-Risk to Abuse Another Child
Intervening early is key
It is crucial to address concerns for youth at-risk to sexually abuse, especially as they approach an age at which they can be held legally accountable for their actions. The stakes only get higher if you wait. Act now.
Some things to keep in mind when talking to a child or teen about their concerning sexual behaviors towards others.
- Let them know you are concerned about their safety and welfare.
- Be specific about the behaviors that caused you to be concerned.
- Let them know that there are other teens who struggle with the same or similar problems.
- Let them know that there are therapists who really understand these concerns and they know how to help him/her learn to manage their behavior and stay safe.
- Let a teen know that you will be there every step of the way and that you will not abandon them.
- Try not to take sides, especially when it involves siblings or divided families.
- Make an appointment with a professional knowledgeable about sexual abuse to help guide you and assess risk.
- Tell him/her that you love them.