Frequently-Asked Questions

Educational Material

When abuse is reported, parents/guardians may experience a “roller coaster” of emotions. A report of abuse may affect your life in many ways and adjusting takes time. You may experience one or more of the following feelings. Any of the feelings listed are normal and movement from one feeling to another is also normal.


Why Children May Not Tell

Reasons Why Children May Not Tell Us They Have Been Abused

Most children are sexually abused many times before the abuse is ever discovered or disclosed. There are many reasons children don't tell us they have been abused including:

* They fear not being believed
* They are embarrassed or ashamed
* They fear getting into trouble
* They are fearful of threats posed by the offender
* They are concerned about protection the offender- they may love the offender
* They don't know how to tell
* They don't know who to tell
* They don't feel like there is an opportunity to tell
* They may not know the sexual activity is wrong
* If the offender is the same gender, they may fear being labeled homosexual
* A child may feel responsible for the abuse he or she has suffered for a number of different reasons. Abusers are almost always very manipulative people. They may convince a child that the child has participated willingly or they may have given the child special gifts, favors, or attention that the child feels guilty about having accepted.
* Often when children do tell, they tell only part of the story to test an adult's reaction or to work up their courage to tell the whole story.
* The child may be depressed as a result of the abuse.
* The child may have "learned helplessness" from the abuse.
* The child may be obeying the directions of the abuser, especially if the child has been taught to follow the directions of adults.
* The child may lack the maturity to know how to handle the situation.

What are my Child's Privacy Rights?

Can I Talk To My Child About What Happened Before the Interview?

NO, not unless your child brings up the subject and wants to talk about it.

* Listen to your child without commenting or questioning.
* Do not coach or pressure your child to talk about what happened.
* Be sure to reassure your child that he/she will be alright.


What Happens Here?

What Happens At Child First Advocacy Center?

The Child First Advocacy Center (CFAC) is a child-friendly setting that coordinates services for children who may have been abused. The process involves a team of professionals from several agencies, including law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, advocacy and medical providers.


What are the Warning Signs of Abuse?

The warning signs of abuse vary by age:


Who Sexually Abuses Children?

In 90% of child abuse cases, the child knows and trusts the person who commits the abuse. It is difficult to face the fact that someone we know-and even trust or love- might be a sexual abuser.


Report Suspected Abuse

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