Throughout our posts, we have highlighted the difficulties that child sex abuse survivors deal with as they grow into adulthood. Some may continue to mask the pain by abusing drugs and alcohol, and other engage in dangerous and unhealthy sexual routines.
But before a child sex abuse survivor reaches these extremes, they are still victims who need to be heard, consoled and rehabilitated. Unfortunately, most people will not realize the pain these children go through because they are so afraid of telling someone their story.
But in the most unlikely moments, a sex abuse survivor may open up and tell someone about their experiences. What happens next is critical to the path the survivor chooses next. As such, this post will highlight the most important things to be said when a survivor reveals their secret.
I believe you – These are perhaps the most important words that can come out of your mouth after a sex abuse survivor has bared their soul to you. Nothing is more reassuring for a survivor than being validated. After all, so much of the pain and turmoil is bottled up inside because of the fear of not being believed.
I stand by you – In addition to not being validated, a survivor fears being rejected or being seen as a pariah or sexual deviant. Most abuse survivors don’t realize that it is not their fault that they were abused, but they may feel like people will see them as damaged goods because of what happened. So reassuring the survivor that you will stand with them is equally as important.
If you have questions about seeking justice for child sex abuse victims, we invite you to contact us.
The preceding is not legal advice.