Victim Services


Victim Services in Windsor and Essex County

Our victim services extend beyond immediate support to provide ongoing assistance and advocacy for children and youth who have experienced trauma.

WECYAC works very closely with many victim services providers in Windsor and Essex County.

Download a list of  Victim Services contact information in Windsor and Essex County

Download the
Victim Bill of Rights

Is It Abuse?

Identifying abuse can be challenging, especially when the signs are subtle or not immediately obvious. Research shows that many children will hold on to their experience of abuse for a long time before disclosing. Understanding the various early warning signs can help you feel more confident in starting a conversation with your child/youth and ensuring that they receive the support and protection they need.

  • Inappropriate Sexual Behavior: Sudden changes in behavior, such as becoming withdrawn, excessively anxious, or exhibiting sexualized behavior inappropriate for their age.
  • Inappropriate Sexual Knowledge: Unusual knowledge of sexual matters inappropriate for their age.
  • Sleep Issues: Nightmares, bed-wetting, or insomnia.
  • Unexplained Injuries: Frequent or patterned bruises, burns, fractures, or welts.
  • Fear of Adults: Displaying fear or apprehension around certain adults or caregivers.
  • Behavioral Indicators: Aggressive behavior, withdrawal, or becoming overly compliant.
  • School Performance: Sudden decline in academic performance or reluctance to attend school.


  • Clothing:Wearing long sleeves or pants inappropriately to cover injuries, even in warm weather.
  • Poor Hygiene: Consistently dirty, wearing ill-fitting, dirty, or inappropriate clothing for the weather.
  • Medical Needs: Unmet medical or dental needs, untreated illnesses, or frequent hospitalizations.
  • Developmental Delays: Delayed physical, emotional, or cognitive development.
  • Frequent Absences: Consistently missing school or other important activities.
  • Malnutrition: Noticeable weight loss, constant hunger, or hoarding food.
  • Emotional Distress: Anxiety, depression, or excessive worry about the safety of themselves or family members.

What’s Next?

How to respond

Children typically disclose to anyone they feel they can trust when they are feeling open, ready and trusting of this person. If a child has disclosed their experiences with you, you hold a special place in their healing journey.

Tips on Responding to a Disclosure:

  • Let the child or youth use their own words and voice.
  • Tell the child you are proud of them for sharing their story with you.
  • Never make promises that you will not tell anyone. Legally you will need to report the alleged abuse to the Children’s Aid Society.
  • Never make promises about the outcome of a disclosure. The outcome of the investigation is out of your hands.
  • Do not lead the child/youth in telling their story. Just listen and let them explain what happened in their own words. Do not pressure them for a great amount of detail.
  • Respond calmly and matter-of-factly. Even if the story is difficult to hear, it is important to control your own reaction, so the child does not feel responsible for the emotions you are feeling.
  • Avoid making judgmental comments about the alleged perpetrator. It is often someone the child/youth loves or with whom they are close.
  • Reassure the child/youth that they are not at fault. Children/youth often feel that they are to blame for their own maltreatment and for bringing “trouble” to the family.
  • Report the matter immediately to the police.

Recognizing Children’s Sexual Behaviour

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