Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre_Parent Support Handbook

Why do Children Keep the Abuse a SECRET?

Does not want to lose perceived benefits (e.g., gifts)

Feels like they participated in the abuse due to grooming and manipulation

Feels they will be blamed

Abuser is a family member or trusted adult

Fears judgment

Feels shame and embarrassment

“Didn't think anyone would believe me”

“It was my fault”


Has either been threatened with violence or there is a threat of violence against his/her family, friends, and pets

They have been taught that their private parts are “gross” and that they shouldn’t talk about them

Believes that they are receiving love and acceptance from the offender

“Didn't want parents/friends to find out”

Does not think they have a safe adult to tell

Does not recognize that they have been victimized

Fears their life will change dramatically (e.g., fears family will break up)

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