Protecting your child and others from further abuse
If the police and the local authority child protection department don't already know about the abuse, it can feel like a complex decision whether to inform them. Your child may not want anyone else to know and you may not be 100% certain about all the facts.
We do recommend informing the police or local authority, because what you know will add to anything else they already know about the individuals concerned and will help to protect both your child and others.
If talking to the police or child protection seems like a daunting first step, discussing it first with say someone from the NSPCC helpline or CEOP might be the best way forward. They will help you weigh up the options in your particular situation and what is best for your child and others.
It is important that you moderate or even, for some time, limit your child’s internet use. This is not a punishment, as they have done nothing wrong, but ‘best practice’ in the circumstances.
Have an ongoing conversation about what they are doing online and who they are talking to - it's an important part of their confidence that they can approach a parent if something goes wrong online.
Technical moderation packages have their place when looking at limiting ‘adult’ content, but overall, open regular dialogue is the most important thing.
Remember, once your child discloses abuse to you it is likely that both you, and your child will need ongoing support.