Sunday, July 2, 2017

Believing the child

Three. That is how many adults I told I was being sexually abused at different times in my childhood and into my teenage years. Three very caring adults were given a life changing ability unknowingly placed in their laps. What they did or didn't do with that information could be for many reason and today I am not concerned with why they didn't, I am more concerned with how can we change this? How can we make sure that every child that discloses sexual abuse will be believed, will be taken seriously and hopefully removed forever from the abuser/s. 

Step one. Go to the child's level, look him/her in the eyes and with your softest and kindest eyes tell them you are so proud of them and that YOU will help them. Tell them you believe them,  remember the child's head is filled with their abuser's lies, start changing that. Tell them YOU will do everything in your power to never let this happen to them again. They trust YOU, stay with them for as long as you can, you are safe to them. 

Step two. Believe the child NO matter what this child acts like or how they behave in the daily life. No matter what, believe them. One percent of children have been shown to be lying and out of that 1% they often find there is still some truth in the child's 'lie'. 

Step three. Be brave. Choose to fight all your own fears and doubts and think how MUCH courage it took for this child to tell you. They chose you for a reason. Be brave for them. They need you. 

Step four. Often the abuser/s are living with the child, tread lightly with who you call first. My suggestion is call authorities first and allow them to figure it all out for the child and their safety. 

Step five. Thank you! 

"The thing that will determine the long term consequences of abuse is not just the trauma itself, but how trusted people respond to the discovery of that abuse! SO, if trusted people SUPPORT that person the long term consequences are much better than if they DENY the harm. While you may think that the victim's parents and siblings would be the one most likely to breathe in life to her, sadly, they are often the very ones that suck the life right out of her". ~ @Nicole_Bromley