Modes of Communication
What children should know
Children should know the various ways they can contact their trusted adult. For example, telephone, email, face-to-face and letter. Part of the criteria in choosing trusted adults could include listing the different ways each trusted adult can be contacted.
Why this is an important part of child sexual abuse prevention
Children need to know the ways they can contact their trusted adults. Sometimes a child may prefer a less direct way to disclose abuse than talking to someone face-to-face. Understanding that it is okay to use any of these modes of communication can lower some of the psychological barriers that prevent disclosure.
Children may disclose sexual abuse by directly telling someone about it but they may also disclose less directly, sometimes unintentionally, over a period of time. However, it is hoped that this program will encourage children to disclose incidences of sexual abuse directly to their trusted adults.
Ideas for having conversations on this concept
- Talk to your child about different ways he/she can contact each of his/her trusted adults. Make sure your child has access to their trusted adults’ phone numbers, email addresses, postal addresses and any other information that could help your child contact his/her trusted adults.
- If your child is unable to contact one or more of his/her trusted adults, you may wish to discuss with your child changing his/her trusted adults.
- Create a flow chart together, mapping out possible paths should your child not be able to contact their trusted adult. Use symbols to represent the different modes of communication.
- Practise with your child each of the different ways they can communicate with their trusted adult.
- Access the Kids Help Line web page at www.kidshelp.com.au and spend some time going through the resources together. Explain that if your child does not feel he/she can talk to his/her trusted adults, he/she can also choose to call the Kids Help Line.