Dear Parent or Guardian,

Child abuse/assault can be one of the most traumatic events or series of events in a child’s young life. Most children (1 in 10) never tell anyone about what happened and continue to be victimized and suffer in silence. For the children that do tell someone about what happened, their experience can be confusing and scary every time they talk about it.

In the past, a child who came forward with an allegation of child abuse/assault, some as young as three or four years old, was routinely questioned in numerous, separate interviews over the course of several weeks or months by several professionals involved in the investigation. In a response to the difficulties faced by the children in our community, child abuse professionals developed a more sensitive, child-friendly, multi-disciplinary approach.

This helps to reduce the emotional trauma and stress of an already distressed child while at the same collecting information for the investigation. Through the Loudoun CAC, a trained forensic interviewer conducts an interview in an effort to reduce the number of times the child will have to talk about what happened. The interview may be recorded and kept as evidence in the case. This interview will ideally be the only time during the investigation that the child needs to share sensitive information with a stranger about his or her abuse.

It is our hope to help you through what can be a very overwhelming and scary process as well as address possible concerns you may have. You are not alone during this process and there are people to help.

Loudoun Child Advocacy Center staff