The Underwear Rule

When you suspect your child has been abused, it is very important not to be angry with your child. Do not make your child feel as if they have done something wrong.

Do not interrogate the child. You could ask what may have happened, when and with whom, but do not ask why it happened.

Try not to be upset in front of your child. Children can easily feel guilty and may hold back information.

Try not to jump to conclusions based on little or unclear information. Reassure your child that you will do something about it, and contact someone who could help, like a psychologist, child care specialist, doctor, social worker or the police.

In some countries special helplines and centres responsible for helping child victims of sexual violence have been set up. They can also guide you and should be contacted when a child is a possible victim of sexual violence.