How to Help a Sexually Abused Child

What should I do with a child who has been abused?

  • Stay calm and confident
  • Believe the child
  • Listen but do not pressure for information
  • Comfort and reassure the child that it is not her fault
  • Allow expressions or feelings
  • Do not try to tackle the abuser yourself
  • Protect the child from further abuse
  • Get medical attention for the child immediately
  • Report to the social welfare department/police in your district
  • Get the child to resume a normal life
  • Continue support and reassurance

How to report

General Hospital

Bring the child to register at the Emergency Trauma department of any government hospital. The child will be taken to the One Stop Crisis Centre (OSCC) for primary medical attention. The Medical Officer from Emergency and Trauma, and a gynaecologist will examine the child. Examination, blood taking, and all specimens’ collection will be done in OSCC. The collected specimens will be handed over to police for investigation. After the examination at OSCC, the child will be admitted to the paediatric/gynae ward. The examination report will be sent to the ward for the ward doctor for follow up. The ward doctor will refer the child to the medical social worker and child psychiatrist for counseling. While the child is hospitalized, he/she receives medical attention and counseling. When the child is well and can go home, the district social worker is responsible for ensuring that the child is placed in a safe home.

Welfare Department

Report the child abuse case to the Welfare Officer. After receiving the report, the child is brought to the hospital (Paediatric Department) by a Welfare Officer for medical attention and to certify if the has been sexually abused. If the medical report confirms that the child has been sexually abused, the doctor then makes a police report. The Welfare Officer with the Court Order can conduct home visits to ensure the child is well and also provide counseling for the child and the parents (if the child is staying with the parents).

Police Department

A report is taken by the police officer on-duty. The child is brought to the hospital for a medical check-up. The case is reported to the Welfare Department. The case is referred to police investigating officer for further investigation. Facts required in a police report:

What is the incident? When did it occur? Where did it happen: location, name of town, village, road, house number Who was involved: the identity or description of suspect or witness? How did it happen? Damages, losses or any injury sustained.

A police report can be lodged at any police station regardless of whether the incident occurred in/outside the jurisdiction of the police station.