It Starts With You Taking Action
You know that receiving support is a crucial part of the healing process. But how do you give enough compassion and validation to offer comfort and help a child sexual abuse victim, while maintaining your own well-being? Start by managing your own feelings about sexual abuse and recognize that you may need help juggling all of the steps required to handle and report sexual abuse.
Get Help for Your Sexually Abused Child by Calling the Proper Authorities
As soon as your child is in a safe environment, get help for your sexually abused child by:
- Calling the police
- Contacting the local authorities to remove the abuser from your home
- Filing any restraining orders
- Seeking a medical professional
- Seeking the assistance of a trained psychologist
While you accomplish these tasks, you may also feel angry, confused, and helpless. The emotional and psychological trauma can be much more painful to bear than the physical effects of the sexual abuse, for both abuse survivors and their loved ones.
These wounds are also far more difficult to treat.
The struggle ahead for those secondary survivors, looking to help a victim, can be eased if you focus on providing:
To start the healing process, helping a child survivor of sexual abuse involves offering unconditional support and belief.
Don’t Ask Why:
It’s important to not pose the question of “why” because it can lead to feelings of fault. Remember that it is important to reinforce that this is not the victim’s fault.
Sadly, children coping with sexual abuse cannot be “fixed” and may even heal at a pace that feels frustratingly slow.
Their Own Pace:
Getting help for a survivor of sexual abuse may also mean giving them space. Even though you may need closeness to be assured that you are meeting their needs, any reaction a victim has should to be supported.
You may also experience some or all of the above feelings as you cope with helping a child sex abuse victim. Remember it’s also important that you provide comfort and care; for yourself; for your own well-being; and for your ability to offer ongoing support to your child.
You may feel overwhelmed by the many things you must do, when all you really want to do is comfort your child. While this is normal, there is no room for indecision. Your child needs to feel safe again; you must take all necessary steps for that to happen.
It’s Never Too Late to Get Help
If you were the victim of childhood sexual abuse, you might feel as though you are all alone as you attempt to deal with the aftermath of your trauma. It is important to know that while recovery from past childhood sexual abuse is difficult, it is not impossible with the proper help and support.
Many adult survivors of sexual abuse fall into self-destructive behaviors; if you have followed this path, then you could need help from trained professionals to put your life back together.
Whether your child was the victim of sexual abuse or you are an adult survivor of sexual abuse, remember that recovery takes time and is rarely easy.
Your recovery may include one or more of the following professionals: Trained sex abuse counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, support groups, alcohol and drug treatment, or self-help sex abuse recovery books. Don’t wait to get help. Start the healing process today and feel one step closer to personal freedom tomorrow.
To learn more about our not-for-profit organization and how you can get help for your sexually abused child, call us at 408-915-5400 or 858-926-5800.