Sometimes in life we have to make difficult and painful decisions. As a Counsellor and as the owner of Blu Ripples Counselling I have a mandatory reporting obligation to report any client who indicates they want to harm themselves or another person or if another person is hurting and/or harming them.
This is a particularly difficult situation especially if it relates to children or a young person (18 years and under). For as a Counsellor if one is made aware of any form of child abuse be it psychological, physical, sexual or neglect, actual or intended harm or if one perceives the child is at significant and/or imminent risk and fails to report it and something happens then the Counsellor can be held liable for not doing anything.
As a parent or legal guardian it may be extremely difficult for you to hear and process that your child is at risk or has been abused in some way; maybe you are afraid of the consequence of a report and the impact it will have on your life. However, as a Counsellor our main priority is to keep the child/young person safe.
If you ever find yourself in a position where a Counsellor or other mandatory reporting representative has had to report actual or suspected abuse about your child/young person listen to the reason why, keep in mind that the Counsellor only has the best interest of the child/young person in mind and when you are over the initial shock speak with them about your concerns and/or fears.
Your child/young person has a right to be safe as do you. Don’t hide in the shadows of darkness and fear have the courage to speak up if you or your child is, has been or you suspect is or has been abused. There is help available but it takes courage on your part to ask.