Best Practice

Safeguarding & disclosures: What to do if a student turns to you...

The abuse that Rachel W experienced as a child continued for years until she finally disclosed at school. In this powerful article, she discusses her experience of disclosure, the barriers she faced, and what school staff must do if a student turns to them for help...

The definition of disclosure is: “The action of making new or secret information known.”

But what if you are conditioned through emotional abuse to believe that sexual and physical abuse is an immutable part of growing up? What if threats to kill are so ingrained, that courage and bravery are only discovered for self-preservation? What if everything feels wrong, but you’re told that it is right?

In my last article for SecEd, I wrote about my story of the abuse I suffered as a child, its impact on my life and education, and how I finally managed to disclose at age 14 despite the barriers I faced. I want to focus now specifically on disclosure.

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