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Somerset Phoenix Project

Working alongside professionals and supporting children, young people and families affected by sexual abuse.

A specialist service supporting the development of professionals in Somerset. We are here to reduce the negative impact of child sexual abuse (CSA) on the lives of children and families living in Somerset

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Children going through the legal process

Supporting Childen & Young People During a Police Investigation or Trial Process

The advice often given to parents & carers is not to talk to their child about the evidence or what happened to them. They are allowed, however, to talk to their child about the court process: who’s who, the building, facts about the process, possible outcomes etc. If the child talks to them, they are advised to not guide, question, lead or get them to re-tell it again. They are advised to just listen.

As a professional you may be supporting a child or young person who has made a disclosure that is currently being investigated or is going to trial. If you are supporting a child, the same rules apply to you as to parents.


If a child or young person does tell you about something related to the sexual abuse:



  • Listen
  • Be supportive
  • Be empathic




  • Question them
  • Lead them
  • Ask for details


Ask them if they have told anyone else or if they have told the police. If they haven’t, listen very carefully and note down the FACTS only. If you are able, note down their exact words.

Write up your notes clearly and precisely – facts only – as soon after the session as possible, while it is still fresh in your mind. Remember your notes could be called as evidence or you could be called as a witness.

Inform your safeguarding lead as soon as possible and if necessary contact the police to inform them of what has been said to you.



Guide for Parents



Guide for 5 to 11 year olds


Guide for 12 to 17 year olds

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