Life Fellowship Church, Trivandrum, India

KNOW WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT CHILD ABUSE

  • Support your child: Research shows that the single most important factor in a child’s doing well after being abused is the steady emotional support of their parents. First and foremost, keep your true feelings hidden and remain calm and collected. It’s the most courageous and kindest thing you can do for your child.
  • Explain that abuse is never, ever their fault.  Many times victims of child sexual abuse will wait years or decades before revealing what happened, and even then it’s usually only to their therapist. When asked why they never reported the abuse as a child, patients admit that sometimes the sexual stimulation of their genitalia was pleasurable and they always believed this meant the abuse was partially their own fault. That’s why it’s critically important to explain to a child that the abuse is never, ever their fault, not even a little tiny bit, no matter what.
  • Make sure they know you believe them. Some children never report sexual abuse because they fear they won’t be believed, especially when the abuser is known and trusted by the family. Tell your child you believe them; children rarely lie about having been sexually abused. Acting as though you might doubt your child will only compound the psychological damage sustained from having been abused.
  • Praise them for sharing.  After your child has finished telling you what happened, praise them for confiding in you and let them know you realize it couldn’t have been easy.
Posted in Life Blog on October 5, 2016.