Many parents have trouble openly discussing abuse that is happening in their home, even with their children. Most children experiencing abuse are also reluctant to talk about it.
Suspected abuse or violence in a home should never be ignored. Parents or other concerned adults can direct children to the home pages of the Kids' Guide and Teen Guide and then touch on all topics in a general way, keeping their tone matter-of-fact throughout the tour, including the “People Getting Hurt” and “Abuse at Home” information. Let the children make their way through this material privately.
Topics covered in the children's websites include:
- Ways to identify abuse.
- Reassuring children that they are not to blame and are not alone.
- Encouraging children to get help from a trusted adult.
- Breaking the cycle of abuse.
- Calling 9-1-1 if there is immediate danger.
For additional information and resources on domestic violence or abuse, the National Domestic Violence Hotline may be reached here: http://www.thehotline.org
If an abused child reaches out to you for support, the first step for adults is to listen. The next step is to seek professional help for the child.
It is important for adults and children who have been victims of abuse to seek help from a professional. Talk to a doctor, counselor, or agency in your community that specializes in victims of abuse.