Helping Children to Tell About Sexual Abuse: Guidance for Helpers


SKU: 9781849057127 Categories: , ,

Children need to be able to disclose their experiences of sexual abuse in order to stop the abuse and get help.

Practical and accessible, this book offers guidance on how professionals can identify potential abuse cases and create safe opportunities for children to talk about sexual abuse. The book explores challenges in facilitating and responding to disclosures of abuse, such as: how to recognise the signs, ask the right questions and react to a disclosure. It also draws on research carried out with children who have experienced sexual abuse, to convey how experiences of disclosure feel to those making them and what informs a decision to tell or not tell.

Helping Children to Tell About Sexual Abuse will be suitable for any professional working with a child or young person, including social workers, psychologists, child/family therapists, health care workers, school nurses, school counsellors, health visitors, police and youth workers.


  • Chapter 1: Introduction.
  • Chapter 2: Child sexual abuse and its impact.
  • Chapter 3: Containing the secret. What we know about child abuse disclosure.
  • Chapter 4: Believing children.
  • Chapter 5: Recognising the signs.
  • Chapter 6: Asking questions.
  • Chapter 7: Understanding self-blame and shame.
  • Chapter 8: Helping friends tell.
  • Chapter 9: After first disclosure.

Author Bio:

Rosaleen McElvaney is a clinical psychologist who has worked in the public health services in Ireland for many years, primarily in services for children or adults who have experienced sexual abuse. She has served on the boards of Crime Victims Helpline, the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland and One in Four. She is currently a lecturer in psychotherapy at Dublin City University and lives in Dublin, Ireland.