Should Parents Interview Their Kids About Possible Sexual Assaults?

Children often struggle to talk about sexual assault.

An ongoing case in Battle Creek, Michigan that has resulted in nine arrests so far, has revealed what many Michigan parents say is their greatest fear – child porn and abuse rings that span multiple counties across the state. Experts involved in this Calhoun County, Michigan investigation are dealing with some major communication issues, and the biggest one is talking to the alleged victims about what happened. Why? Because discussing sexual abuse with children is extremely difficult even for those with specialized training.

Parents aren’t trained to gather data from potential child victims.

Obviously, as parents, we want to know that our kids are safe, and when they aren’t we want to talk what happened! But how do you, as a parent who isn’t a trained forensic interviewer, ensure that the information you’re gathering from your child isn’t tainted in some way? How do you ensure that you’re getting the truth? It’s actually way more challenging than you think.

Children struggle to have conversations about sexual assault

It’s a hard subject to talk about. Whether you’re a child that is the victim of sexual assault, or the parent who suspects your child may have been assaulted, it’s not going to be a fun conversation. However, while the comfort is a factor, another thing you need to keep in mind is how to get the facts without letting your emotions or fears get in the way.

Ask questions, but don’t lead their answers!

Children tend to tell adults what they think you want to hear. Why? Because they want to avoid getting into trouble, and because they want to please you. So if they think you want a certain answer, they’re more likely to provide that answer – even if it’s the wrong one! As you can imagine, this can lead to false allegations and tragic mistakes if you’re not careful!

Behaviors can tell you a lot (but can also lead you astray!)

Experts involved in the Battle Creek case investigation say that certain changes in behavior can be indicators that a child has been the victim of sexual assault. Things like nightmares, increased bedwetting incidents, and sociable children who suddenly become more withdrawn can all indicate sexual assault. But these behavior changes can also indicate a number of other issues, like bullying at school, or even be reactions to a family’s changing dynamic – like a pending divorce. Not all behavior changes are signs of sexual assault, so don’t make assumptions!

If you think your child has been the victim of sexual assault…

Talking to your kids about sexual assault is very hard for parents, but being accused of sexually assaulting a child is even harder! That’s why it’s so important for parents to be careful when asking children about potential sexual abuse – to avoid false allegations and ruinous misunderstandings! When you know somebody that is the subject of an accusation or an investigation for a sex assault crime of any kind in MIchigan, call the skilled attorneys at The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail). We’ve spent decades helping people fight sex crime charges and allegations of sexual abuse. We can help you too!

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