For Parents

Important issues in talking to a person who has abused a child.

Some important things to keep in mind when talking to someone who has abused or may be abusive:

  • Explore the situation in a non-accusatory, non-confrontational way. This can help reduce the person’s defensiveness.
  • Be specific about the behaviors that concern you and expose reactions to them.
  • Ask simple and direct questions.
  • Let the person know that there is help available, individuals can live and have continued to live without abuse by first taking responsibility for the harm they have done, facing the consequences of their actions, and committing to making a change and specialized treatment.
  • If you feel this way, let the person know you care about them. Loving support can be an important factor in getting someone to take responsibility, face the consequences and get treatment.
  • In general, conversations need to happen more than once.
  • Find an ally you can turn to for support.