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Child Abuse Network offers advice for parents whose child may have experienced abuse

Posted at 10:30 PM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 23:30:09-04

TULSA, Okla. — As parents of first grade students learn new details about accusations involving, Heather Bycroft, many may have questions that's why 2 News turned to experts.

“Generally when the school system is impacted by an incident that might alarm a parent or children, they’ll produce documentation and guidance,” Maura Guten, president and CEO for Child Abuse Network said.

Friday Bixby school leaders met with parents to address their concerns. Guten said having conversations with your child about their body is key.
She said explaining to them at early age what touches are okay and which ones are not is extremely important.

“With younger children it is as easy as talking about body parts and using the correct terminology and what body parts are not okay. With my own child I say, you know, these are my private parts because they should remain private,” she said.

What can parents do if their child may have experienced abuse?

“I think the best thing that really any parent, or teacher, or anyone can do when a child discloses is to make sure that the child knows that you believe them because kids don’t often lie about this stuff. They’re more likely to lie to protect the person who hurt them,” Guten said.

She said it's important to have a conversation with your child about who they would confide in if someone did something to them that wasn't okay.

“Talking about who would you trust to talk to, but you don’t want to get into a lot of detail and certainly if a child were to disclose something, you wouldn’t want to question the child, you would want to leave that to the professional,” she said.

Guten said when a child comes forward, parents should immediately report it to law enforcement and the department of Human Services.

She also suggests finding out who, when and where, but not asking the child too many questions.

Guten said the child would then need to be forensically interviewed in a therapeutic way to reduce trauma.

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