Experts Tell Parents How to Interview Kids For Abuse. But Should They? (Pt 1)

October 29, 2018 Abuse and Neglect Attorney
Children talking
Some things are very hard for children to talk about, and abuse is one of them!

An ongoing case in the Battle Creek area has brought up a very difficult subject – the issue of child sexual assault, and how to know when it’s happening. As parents, we want to protect our children from harm, and make sure that nothing frightening or damaging is happening to them. But what if it’s already happened? What if your child was already the victim of a sexual assault and you don’t know about it? How do you find out? How do you talk to them about it? These are tricky questions…

The case in Battle Creek has resulted in 9 arrests so far!

Experts involved in the child porn and abuse ring that’s being dismantled in Battle Creek, one arrest at a time, are dealing with some major communication issues. Primarily, there is the fact that talking to children about sexual abuse is extremely hard. They are afraid, ashamed, confused, and angry. They don’t know how to describe what’s happened to them. They don’t understand why it happened, and now people are questioning them, wanting them to put those horrifying experiences into words. It’s very traumatic.

Children don’t know how to talk about sexual abuse.

Most children have no idea how to have a conversation about sexual abuse. They simply don’t have the vocabulary, nor do they have the maturity needed to understand what really happened to them. Many of them believe it was somehow their fault. They feel guilty, and dirty. They’re afraid to share the details, not sure if they’ll be believed. Or perhaps sure they’ll be believed, but are scared about what will happen afterwards. Will they get into trouble? Will something bad happen to them, or to the people they care about?

So how do experts get children to share information after an assault?

Michigan State Police detectives say that one of the greatest challenges they encounter in these situations, is getting the child to trust you. You’re a stranger, an adult who they don’t know, and you’re asking them questions about scary things that happened to them. So they don’t want to talk to you. How do you work around that? Investigators say they have to take time to talk to the child, getting to know them, and proving that they don’t mean them any harm. Only then is a child more likely to share details of an assault.

But what about parents? How do parents talk to their kids about it?

This can be extremely difficult. Children may not understand what you’re asking them, or may change the story to give you the answers they think you want, because they want to please you. All in all, talking to your children about sexual abuse after it’s happened can be a very difficult conversation, and can even negatively impact the outcome of the case if there’s an investigation later. Join us next time to find out how.

If you or a loved one have been accused of sexual assault!

Talking to your kids about abuse is very hard for parents, but being accused of abuse is even harder! So if you or a loved one have been accused of child abuse or neglect, call the skilled attorneys at The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866 766 5245. We have spent decades advocating for parents, and fighting to keep families together. We can help you too!