Here are a few suggestions of what you should do if disclosure has taken place in your church or organisation.
· Remain calm and find a private place to talk.
· Take notes – write down time, place, what was said, and the circumstances that surround disclosure.
· Do not express shock, panic or disbelief – the child is counting on you to provide calm reassurance that they are being listened to, heard and believed. Be aware of your tone of your voice and help the child feel secure that they are doing the right thing
· Recognize their bravery for talking about something that is very difficult. Be supportive and tell them that you believe them.
· Be a listener not an investigator – ask enough questions to be proactive but not too many to be intrusive. It is not your role to investigate the allegations but it is your job to report.
· Do not promise to keep secrets
· Do not contact the alleged offender. Leave that to the police, but make sure that the child is safe and if that isn’t possible call the emergency police number.
· REPORT! REPORT! REPORT!
Department of Child Safety will always give good advice and will take things further. Their number is 13 74 68 in Qld. Please contact us on the number below for your local contacts.
The police service is involved in investigating all reported incidents of suspected child sexual abuse call.
If you are unsure of who to contact or need more personalised advice, please feel free to call us, 1300 504 501 and we will help you.
Information required for reporting
· The name, address and age of the child/young person
· Reasons why you suspect or when disclosure took place
· The immediate risk of the child
· You do not have to give your details, however, it is preferable that your contact details are provided so that the officers are able to contact you if needed. The callers ID will always be kept confidential and their identity is strictly protected.