5 Good Things to Say to Sexual Abuse Survivors

5 Good Things to Say to Sexual Abuse Survivors
5 Good Things to Say to Sexual Abuse Survivors

5 Good Things to Say to Sexual Abuse Survivors

Written in collaboration with:Zoe

In my previous blog, my friend Zoe addressed 20+ of the wrong things to say to a sexual abuse survivor. On the flip side, there are 5 easy and simple responses or *good things* you can say to a friend or family member who confides in you. Additionally, there are a handful of right and wrong responses for children who share with you that they are victims of sexual abuse.

Zoe’s Top 5 Good Things to Say When Someone Confides In YOU

There are responses you can offer a sexual abuse survivor to offer them comfort, support and even encouragement. A survivor herself, Zoe recommends her Top 5 list of ideal things to say when someone confides in you…

1) “I believe you!”  Yes, this one tops the list! It doesn’t mean you have to understand, it just reassures the person that you believe her. Zoe captured this sentiment when she stated, “No one would ever want to live through abuse like we have. I don’t think many people could even make up what we’ve been through. If I were to share one-on-one with a friend, I would want them to just listen. I don’t need them to fix me, I just need to talk and be heard.”

2) “I’m so sorry that happened to you.” This genuine, heartfelt response shows empathy and really can mean the world to a survivor.

3) “I’m here to listen to as much or little as you’d like to share.” Sometimes, survivors will want to talk about their trauma… other times, they won’t. If possible, try to be flexible and follow the survivor’s lead in these discussions.

4) “Do you want to go to the police?” This can be a frightening proposition for many and often people who’ve been sexually abused will not want to seek police assistance. A great follow-up question and possible encouragement for the person to move forward and seek help is to ask, “Would you like me to go with you?” Please remember, if a child/youth tells you he/she is a victim of abuse, it is vital to share this information with proper authorities (read further… more information below). “Mandated reporters” (i.e., people that are required by law to report suspected child abuse) vary from state to state. I live in Indiana and our state law specifies that all adults are mandated reporters.

5) “What do you want to do next?” This could mean anything from accompanying the survivor to the police station or emergency room if an assault has recently taken place… to finding a good therapist… to just grabbing a cup of coffee and chatting.

As a side note, Zoe recommends being careful about *touch* when someone is revealing abuse.  She says:

“It might be an automatic response to want to hug us or put your hand on our shoulder.  Many of us can’t handle touch, and may even recoil at someone’s attempt to do so.  Just ask first.  Ask if you can hug us or put your hand on our shoulder… be okay with our answer if it’s ‘no’, though. We need to be able to say ‘no’.”

Ginger’s List of Things To Do When A Child Discloses Sexual Abuse

If a child discloses abuse to you, there are several right and wrong steps to take. Those include:

1) The same #1 as Zoe… BELIEVE the child! The truth will come out in the end, but this is an IMPORTANT POINT. Tremendous damage can be done to children when they disclose abuse to a trusted party and that person reacts with doubt, suspicion or defiance.

2) Collect some details from the child, but avoid having him share too many specifics with you — that should be explored later, ideally with a trained child forensic interviewer. Do, though, ask him to tell you:

1. Who did it?

2. What happened? (Again, gather general detail, but DO NOT have him delve into too many specifics.)

3. Where did it happen?

4. When did it happen?

3) Make sure the accused perpetrator has NO access to the child! If the accused perpetrator is in the same location as the child (e.g., at home, school, etc.), immediately remove her from the premises.

4) Immediately contact your local Child Protective Services Department or law enforcement. Hopefully, you live in an area with a Child Advocacy Center where your child can be interviewed about the alleged abuse in a safe, neutral, child-friendly environment. You can also contact the National Child Abuse Hotline and they will connect you with the proper authorities in your area.

5) Insist on a “wellness exam” by a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) medical professional. These specially trained doctors and nurses conduct physical exams of children who are alleged victims of sexual or physical abuse in a non-threatening, child-friendly manner and environment. They are uniquely trained to conduct child forensic examinations and determine the presence or absence of signs of abuse. I can’t emphasize this enough… please DO NOT take your child to his pediatrician unless the pediatrician or someone on staff has a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) certification. Work through your local Child Advocacy Center to connect with a SART or SANE medical professional.

6) Ensure your child has proper professional follow-up with a victims’ advocate or therapist. This is essential! Abuse can leave lifelong scars and impact your child’s emotional and psychological development. It’s imperative you ensure she has access to the professional support and counseling she needs for as long as she needs it.

How about you?

Have you had this conversation with a friend, loved one or child? What did you say? How did they respond? Was the conversation helpful or did it elicit a negative response? What other ideas or suggestions do you have to add to this list? Zoe and I are eager to hear your thoughts and know about any other things you’ve tried… your ideas could help others navigate through an often turbulent time for sexual abuse survivors.

About Zoe

 

Zoe is a survivor of multiple types of abuse… sexual, physical, psychological and torture. She keeps her true identity concealed as her abusers are still around. Courageously, Zoe is speaking out about being a survivor and tells her story through her blog, “Behind The Mask Of Abuse“.  While sharing her personal perspectives, Zoe encourages other abuse survivors to know they are “not alone”. As she continues her journey of healing, she is married to the love of her life for 10 years now and is mama to a couple of pets she adores! As a creative outlet, she recently started another blog, “We Poets Show It“.

 

 About Ginger

 

Working to improve the world one child at a time, Ginger has made it her life mission to raise awareness of the world-wide epidemic of child abuse. An impassioned child advocate, trainer, speaker and child forensic interviewer, Ginger can be contacted via her website “Ginger Kadlec: 4UrKids™” at gingerkadlec.com or find her on Facebook at facebook.com/gingergkadlec.

Share small business news, blogs and social media tips with Project Eve’s community of small business owners and entrepreneurs today. Our contributors come from a wide range of backgrounds; so whether you are a small business owner, social media strategist, financial adviser, serial entrepreneur, or write an amateur blog we urge you to contribute a blog to our 350,000+ community today. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.

Add a Blog

56 COMMENTS

  1. I like the manner in which you keep hold of your readers in your posts and I would definitely be visiting this blog from time to time. Keep publishing more illuminating articles of this nature because I really value your efforts.

  2. Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every day. It will always be exciting to read articles from other authors and practice something from their sites.

  3. What a fantastic web site you’ve got here. It is actually difficult to see high-quality posts of this nature nowadays. You did justice to the topic and I have got to point out that I truly appreciate individuals such as you. Take care and do keep it up.

  4. Hi from Courtland! I was bored to death in the office, then simply decided to have a look at a thing or two on the web and then surprisingly stumbled on this wonderful post. I truly liked the manner in which you presented the details in the blog post and cannot wait to thoroughly digest the overall content the instant I get home. Furthermore, I was seriously surprised by the pace at which your blog loaded on my cell phone despite the fact that I was using a 3G connection and not a wi-fi. Anyway, you’ve got a really fantastic website!

  5. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is needed to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100 positive. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Appreciate it.

  6. Undeniably believe that which youu said. Your fsvorite
    reason appeared to be on tthe net the easiest thing to be
    aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people
    think about worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit thee nail upon the top and deefined out the whole thing without having side
    effect , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get
    more. Thanks

  7. I just couldn’t go away your website prior to suggesting that I really enjoyed the usual info a person supply to your guests? Is going to be back continuously in order to check out new posts

  8. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was curious
    what all is required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?

    I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% sure. Any tips or advice
    would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  9. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

  10. Hello there! This post couldn’t be written much better!
    Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept talking about this. I’ll send this post to him.

    Fairly certain he’ll have a very good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

  11. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly
    informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels.
    I will be grateful if you continue this in future.
    Lots of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  12. Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger,
    and I was curious about your situation; many of us have developed some nice methods
    and we are looking to trade methods with others, please shoot me an email
    if interested.

  13. 959859 9085Even though youre any with the lucky enough choices, it comes evidently, while capture the fancy with the specific coveted by ly folks other valuable you you meet could possibly nicely have hard times this certain problem. pre owned awnings 392544

  14. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.
    I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of
    your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly return.

  15. Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is wonderful, let
    alone the content!

  16. Nearly all goods are typically hand designed plus subsistence economic local weather dominates. Individualism is really weakly manufactured within just persons ethnicities given that are typically interpersonal programs. Unaltered customers ethnicities no extra can be determined inside industrialized nations much like the Usa plus North america.

  17. Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.

    When I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer,
    it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, terrific blog!

  18. Right here is the right web site for anybody who wishes to find out about this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a subject that’s been written about for decades. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!

  19. 372963 390790Hello! I would wish to supply a large thumbs up for your superb info you could have here about this post. Ill be coming back to your blog site for further soon. 511663

  20. 940188 892830You wouldnt feel it but Ive wasted all day digging for some articles about this. You might be a lifesaver, it was an excellent read and has helped me out to no finish. Cheers! 114225

  21. I believe everything published made a great deal of sense.
    But, think on this, suppose you were to write a awesome headline?

    I ain’t suggesting your content is not solid., but suppose you added a
    title that grabbed a person’s attention? I mean 5 Good Things to Say to Sexual Abuse Survivors | Project Eve is a little boring.
    You might glance at Yahoo’s home page and watch how they write
    news titles to get viewers to open the links.
    You might add a video or a related pic or two to get readers excited about what you’ve written. Just
    my opinion, it might make your website a little
    livelier.

  22. Normally I do not read article on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to check out and do so! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, quite nice post.

  23. This is the right site for anybody who wants to understand this topic. You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic that’s been written about for many years. Excellent stuff, just excellent!

  24. 616905 605714If you tow a definite caravan nor van movie trailer your entire family pretty soon get exposed to the down sides towards preventing very best securely region. awnings 785252

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here