Return to: How to Protect Your Child

Talk to you Child.  Let your child know he/she can tell you anything and you will not be angry or over-react. Keep the lines of communication open.  

Body Safety Rules

  • Use the correct name for private body parts.
  • No one is forced to hug, kiss, or be touched – We are the bosses of our bodies!
  • We don’t look, touch, or play games with other people’s privates.
  • When someone says ‘no’ or ‘stop’, we listen.
  • Happy surprises are fun, but no one should ask us to keep a secret, even a small one.
  • It is always right and never too late to tell if someone breaks a body safety rule.


What should I do if I suspect a child is being abused?

Call both local law enforcement and the Department of Child Safety when abuse is suspected. Arizona Child Abuse Hotline 1-888-SOS-CHILD (1-888-767-2445)

What do I do if a child tells me they have been sexually abused?
  • Stay calm and listen carefully. Encourage the child to speak freely, but do not ask detailed questions about the abuse.
  • Reassure the child. Tell the child that you believe him or her, that telling you was the right thing to do, and that he or she has not done anything wrong.
  • Take action. Call the DCS hotline immediately: 1-888-767-2445. Also call local law enforcement.
It is not your responsibility to investigate abuse, interview the child or get all the facts. Just contact the authorities with what you know or suspect so that children and families get the support and care they need.
How do I know a child is telling the truth about abuse?
Children seldom lie about abuse. If a child discloses abuse, report what you know to the authorities; they will determine the facts and evidence. In rare instances when a child does lie about abuse, it can be an indication that something else is wrong.
Why don’t children tell?
There are many reasons why children may not disclose abuse. Because most abusers have a close relationship with the child and his or her family, the child may worry about getting their abuser or themselves in trouble. Many abusers make threats to ensure that victims do not tell. Victims may also be ashamed or fear that no one will believe them. Remember, children often indicate something is wrong through behaviors, not words.
Can children recover from the trauma of abuse?
Yes. Most children are very resilient. The most important things to help children heal from abuse are having supportive caregivers and access to appropriate resources.