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Intervention with a child who has been sexually abused

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This page was updated on 13 September 2022. To view changes, please see page updates

Understanding how child sexual abuse has impacted a child and their family helps practitioners to understand child and family strengths and worries, and to make a plan to increase protective factors. Understanding these factors all help determine appropriate interventions.

'It can be very difficult to understand why some young people behave in ways that undermine their own health and freedom, and compromise the health and freedom of others. When working with children and young people, it is important to remember that behaviours that are the most challenging are often a sign of the most emotional pain'

(Child Safety Commissioner, 2009).

This part considers intervention strategies, including the family’s safety and support network, as an important aspect of risk assessment and case planning. We know children thrive when they are valued and supported by their family and community. We also know that children who are marginalised and disconnected from their community are at greater risk of sexual abuse. The impact of trauma and abuse is very individual and the following information helps practitioners consider a range of intervention options.

Further reading

See comprehensive guides on child development and trauma (Victoria State Government).

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