What Canadian Youth Tell Us About Disclosing Abuse

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Child Abuse & Neglect, Volume 33, Issue 10, pp. 699-708.

The Canadian Red Cross RespectED violence prevention program provides workshops to sensitize youth to issues of violence and asks participants to evaluate presentations. According to RespectED staff, participants often use such evaluations to disclose personal experiences of abuse. The authors purposefully sampled 1,099 such evaluations and used these evaluations to generate themes about disclosure patterns among participants. In addition, they conducted focus groups with a smaller sample of youth to contextualize the findings from within the evaluations.

The findings suggest that the ideal conditions for youth to disclose information about abuse are when: an individual asks them directly about abuse, there is someone available to listen to and respond appropriately to the disclosure, the youth has language to describe and define abuse, youth have a sense of control over the disclosure process particularly related to anonymity and confidentiality, youth possess knowledge about resources, and responses to abuse disclosures are clear about keeping youth safe from harm.

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Canadian CW research
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