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Gender-based violence, sexism, harassment, and disrespect towards women can be difficult to bring up in conversation, especially in relationships, communities and settings where attitudes and beliefs about traditional gender roles may be strongly held. 

GBV guidelines shared a priceless pocket guide on how to support survivors.

DO reassure the child/adolescent that it is OK s/he told you what happened. 

DO respect the child’s opinion, beliefs and thoughts. 

DO use comforting statements appropriate to the cultural context… examples include:

DO NOT make promises you cannot keep such as saying “everything will be OK” when it is not within your control to assure a child’s well-being. 

DO NOT force the child/adolescent to continue talking with you if s/he does not want to.

DO ask if there is someone that the child/adolescent trusts, and if s/he wants help in reaching out to this person, or accompaniment to find this person. 

DO stay with the child/adolescent until s/he feels safe or are in the care of someone who s/he identifies as safe and trusted. 

DO provide the child/adolescent and adult s/he trusts with accurate, relevant information on services that are available and how to access them 

DO say what you know and what you do not know. Say “I do not know” or “I do not have that information” if you do not have the information requested

DO NOT force a child/adolescent to have their caregiver or any other person with them when s/he talks to you as these individuals may have perpetrated the violence, or the child/adolescent may not want to share their experience with them. 

DO NOT leave a child/adolescent unattended while s/he is in distress (for example, crying, angry or in shock). 

DO NOT try to solve the situation yourself, make a plan or make decisions for the child/adolescent.

Ge a copy of the pocket guide here

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