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What is abuse

  • Physical: Any deliberate action occurring repeatedly that causes injury or pain such as hitting, burning, choking, shaking.

  • Emotional: Anything that would impact on the normal psychological development of a child caused by persistent or severe emotional ill-treatment or rejection.

  • Sexual: is the purposeful engagement in sexual acts with a child or in the presence of children.

  • Spiritual:  is linked with other forms of abuse and could be defined as an abuse of power, often done in the name of God or religion.

  • Neglect: choosing deliberately not to give basic physical or emotional care such as food, shelter, medicine, care, clothes.

What NOT to do if abuse is suspected or disclosed

  • Discuss the situation/case with anyone outside of the appointed team.

  • Talk of the situation/case in areas where others can hear.

  • Make a judgment on the victim or person being investigated during the investigation.

  • Make decisions alone without other team members present.

What TO do if abuse is suspected or disclosed.

  • Re-read the safeguarding policy prior to starting an investigation.

  • Review the safeguarding form along with any other evidence submitted.

  • Interview the person who reported the concern.

  • Interview other key personnel (e.g. victim, victim’s parents, other witnesses, suspect etc).

  • Write a report of each interview (include date, time and as close to word for word as possible).

  • Assess the credibility of each report and the reliability of those interviewed.

  • Write a statement of findings.

  • Pass the statement along with all documents to the leadership team.

  • Respect the privacy of the person being investigated.

What is abuse

  • Listen to the child and keep calm.

  • Show care and that you are sorry this happened Ask open ended questions.

  • Thank the child for talking with you.

  • Tell the child the abuse is not their fault.

  • Explain briefly what you will do and who you will need to tell.

  • Write down the conversation word for word.

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