A change in emotion or behaviour might be due to abuse, but it could also be due to other worries. Start the conversation with your child by asking about the things that's making them worry, sad, or fearful. Be patient as they articulate their answers. If they can't answer, encourage them that it's good to share feelings because sometimes parents can help fix problems. Reinforce the fact that you love them and you'll do what you can to make things better.\n\n
A child who has been abused might disclose in answer to your questions, or they might not at this time. Another possibility is that seemingly out of the blue a child tells you that someone has touched them in a way they didn't like.\n\n
Finding out whether abuse has occurred or not involves a process of investigation with various factors to take into account. To learn more ways to know what to look out for and start the conversation with your child, check out "How can I protect my child from sexual abuse?" pamphlet on this page.