Supporting A Survivor of Sexual Abuse
In many cases, survivors of childhood sexual abuse keep the secret to themselves, and it takes them a long time to explore their feelings about their perpetrators – and sadly, some do not speak up at all. In the event that a loved one does choose to share their story, they will need to receive support throughout their recovery process. To help you, here are some ways you can support them on their journey to healing and recovery.

Lend Your Ear

The most important thing you can do for someone who has been sexually abused as a child is to let them know you are available to them when they want to talk about it. Keep in mind that pressing them to tell you about their experience can trigger emotions and memories they may not be ready to deal with, so let them initiate the conversation, if and when they choose to do so.

Tell Them You Believe Them, Do Not Blame The Victim

The act of victim-blaming remains a common practice when it comes to sexual abuse. A victim of childhood sexual abuse experiences a number of different emotions such as guilt and shame, as well as the turmoil and trauma of the experience itself. Moreover, many of them fear that their story will not be believed. Taking the time to validate their experience and make sure they know you believe them can make a world of difference in their recovery. Some examples of validating statements may include the following:

  • “I believe you.”
  • “I support you.”
  • “Thank you for sharing your experience with me.”
  • “I respect your decision to speak up about what happened to you.”
  • “What happened to you was not your fault.”

Educate Yourself

Each survivor’s story is unique. You can, however, be helpful to your loved one if you understand the adverse effects that abuse can have on someone’s life. Below are some excellent resources that will help you gain a deeper understanding.

  • The Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)
  • The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP)
  • Child Abuse and Family Violence Institute

You can view the complete list of supporting organizations on our website here: https://yablonovichlaw.com/resources/

Are You a Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse? We Believe You and We Want to Hear Your Story

One of the first steps in the healing process of childhood sexual abuse is speaking up against your perpetrator. Holding perpetrators accountable for the heinous actions they committed can enable you to gain closure and move on with your life. Furthermore, your perpetrator should have to pay for what they did to you, including your past and future medical expenses, therapy, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Our team understands that survivors endure a significant amount of trauma, both physical and psychological. Whether you, a loved one, or a child has suffered child sexual abuse, we believe you, and we are here to assist you through this challenging time. Call us at (888) 306-4228 for a free confidential consultation.

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