Responding appropriately when your child is victimized can make all the difference in his or her healing process. Here are a few suggestions for responding to a child who has been abused:
- If your child refuses to be with a particular person or be in a particular place (i.e. daycare center, a friend’s house, sporting program), listen to them and ask questions. (For example, Are you feeling unsafe? Who or what is making you feel unsafe?) They may be trying to communicate something to you.
- If you suspect abuse is going on, act on that feeling or instinct.
- Believe your child when they tell you that something is happening to them.
- Don’t force a child to talk or to stop talking about the abuse. Allow them to go at their own pace. BE PATIENT!
- Remind your child how strong he or she is for telling about the abuse.
- Get your child involved in a support group of peer survivors to help minimize feelings of isolation.
- Get support for you and your child. This is a very difficult issue for any one person to handle.