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HomeHealth & FitnessHealing Wounds: A Comprehensive Guide to Supporting Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

Healing Wounds: A Comprehensive Guide to Supporting Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

A child sexual abuse survivor’s healing journey can be long and difficult. Sexual abuse leaves trauma that is hard to deal with, let alone completely overcome. This means that when a child experiences sexual abuse, the workings of their mind, as well as their body, is altered, putting them in a constant fight or flight mode. Their brain and body begins processing things a little differently. Due to the sharp jarring memories that can recreate the feeling of being back in the situation, these children often run away from situations that might feel even slightly threatening to them. Anxiety and stress follows them throughout their life. But, do you know what is worse than constantly fighting your own demons? Fighting the people around you. 

Every child abuse survivor needs to heal from their trauma so that it does not impact their future self. This means being in a supportive and secure environment that offers them love and affirmation. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Healing is complex journey; it is not linear. There are good days and bad days, so, as a parent, you need to be patient at every step and not force progress. 

If you know a child who has experienced sexual abuse, here are some guidelines on how to support them.

Believe the Survivor 

The key to supporting a child sexual abuse survivor is believing them. Most often, these children find it difficult to talk about their experience and feelings to adults. This is mainly because they are either too scared or feel that no one would believe them. Make it clear to them that you believe the abuse happened and that it is not their fault. 

Stay Calm and Composed

Don’t act rashly when your child confesses to you about their abuse experience. It is okay to feel overwhelmed, but remember to stay composed in front of your child and not react with anger or outrage. If you do so, the survivor would feel confused and uncomfortable and may not share further. Instead, listen to them attentively and affirm their feelings.

Encourage Professional Counselling

You might be doing your best, but the truth is that a professional counselor is experienced and knows strategies to deal with the toughest situations, that you might not. Discuss the possibility of talking to a professional organization with your child, but do not force them to do so. Let them decide. 

Give Them Control

Control was taken away from the survivor during the sexual abuse. Now, you have to give them back control, especially over their body. Let the child decide who they want to physically engage with, i.e. give a hug or a kiss to. Do not force them to do anything that they are not willing to. 

Summing It Up;

Trauma of sexual child abuse scars children deeply. The worst part is that as parents and caregivers, we often do not understand how to deal with this trauma and help our children. The above guide will help you take appropriate steps, so that you can respond to child sexual abuse better. 

If you want professional help, get in touch with Sanaa’s Stars. This charitable organization provides education and training to parents and survivors to heal and create a brighter future. 


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