Children expect love, trust, and guidance from adults, and offenders take advantage of that. The great majority, as many as 90% of children, are victimized. Rarely is the abuse an isolated or one-time incident.
Your first obligation is to believe and support your child.
Listen and encourage your child to talk openly about the trauma while controlling your reactions.
Do not force conversations, ask leading questions or make negative remarks. This could lead to confusion on the child’s part when they speak with law enforcement or it could cause the child to shut down.
Please contact Child Protection Services Immediatly at 399-0081 by someone they they or their family knows and trusts.
For Friends and Family of Those Affected by Sexual Violence
Some will want to talk about their experiences and some will not. Be sure not to share information with others unless given permission.
People affected by sexual assault need to know that their support system (i.e. friends and family) believes them.
Acknowledge their sadness, anger, fear, or confusion. Let them know that their feelings are normal. Assure them that they are not alone.
SUPPORT THE HEALING PROCESS:
Healing takes time. Assure them this experience will cause some disruption in their life, but they will heal. Do talk about other aspects of their lives; help them realize they are not only a victim, but also an important part of your life.
ENCOURAGE LIFE CONTROL:
Allow your loved one to make decisions and take action for themselves. Being supportive means helping to rebuild self-confidence and independence.
FIND SUPPORT FOR YOURSELF:
Talk to someone about your feelings. Remember: you're an important person in the survivor's life.
Counceling for both victims and loved ones is available through The Signs of Hope Counceling Center at the Rape Crisis Center. Please call 385-2153 if you want to schedule an appointment.