Bringing Hope: Responding to Disclosures of Child Sexual Abuse

I am so excited for the newest online courses to come out of the Just Rural! Project. Geared toward victim service professionals, they provide excellent foundational information on a trauma-informed response to child sexual abuse. The first course, called Bringing Hope, takes less than 15 minutes to complete.

I know that many amazing advocates hesitate when it comes to offering advocacy services for children. There seems to be a misconception that our sexual assault advocacy skills aren’t good enough for the little ones or that we’ll say something to make the situation worse. I am here to tell you, from the bottom of my heart, that this is just not true.

This course offers some information on the basics of CSA. More importantly, it presents simple, 3-step guiding principles to responding when a child or adolescent tells you about sexual abuse. I feel like the mantra “Listen, Believe, Act” is etched into my consciousness. Anyone can do those three things. That’s all it takes to be an ally and an advocate on the path to healing.

Even though they are written for advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors, and medical practitioners, I really think these three basic skills could apply to anyone who has children they care about in their lives. Stay tuned for this feminist’s take on the other course, From Approach to Practice.

This is my third blog post in a series on the intersections of feminism, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.


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