Listen. Do not fill in words for the child.
If the child is having a difficult time talking -- don't help the child with words you think the child is going to say. Allow the child to tell you what happened in their own words.
Tell the child that you are glad they told you.
Reassure the child that they are not in trouble.
If the child asks you to not tell anyone, remind the child that it is your job to help keep them safe and you will do whatever you may need to do to keep them safe.
Do not be overly critical of the offender. Children are protective about people they care about, even if they are being abused.
Tell the child you believe them.
Don't express panic or shock.
Use the child's vocabulary to the child and when reporting.
Be aware of your own feelings about abuse so that hopefully you will not project these on to the child.
Do not ask probing questions.
Remember, you must report suspected abuse.
Source: Hope4Justice Facebook post, 1/3/19; Cited: Sanford HealthWant to learn more about the face of modern-day slavery? Visit http://www.hope4justice.org/the-facts/
Happening in Yakima:
"Facebook, other social media used in arresting 15 accused child predators" was the headline on a Dec. 19, 2018 article by Khalyn King of KIMA.tv.com.
"In five days, 15 accused predators were locked behind bars after trying to have sex with children as young as three years old.
Local authorities called this arresting spree "Operation Net Nanny." It's the 14th operation in the state to target people involved in child abuse and internet porn. While these numbers may seem alarming, Lieutenant James Mjor over at Washington State Patrol (WSP) says this operation is only a small piece to a much larger picture."
Read the full article here.
January is National Human Trafficking month. (Learn more here.)
What will you do to join the cause?
Learn more: Watch a human trafficking video on you tube.
Check out the policies (on the website) of your favorite company. If they're not clearly trying to prevent trafficking in their product line, send them an email expressing your concerns.
Take a latte or espresso break for a week and donate the money saved to an anti-trafficking group
Encourage a Whatcom County high school student, WCC or WWU student to do trafficking awareness activities so they can apply for the Hope4Justice STEP scholarship. (Deadline 4/15/19)