Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre_Parent Support Handbook

..... Common Feelings Associated with Sexual Abuse Disclosures . . Common Feelings As ociate Sexual Abuse Disclos

How Your Child Might Feel:

• Feeling afraid that their abuser will harm them again • Feeling fearful that their abuser may harm someone they love • Feeling fearful that they will not be believed • Feeling fearful that people will think differently of them • Believing they are responsible for the abuse (often due to grooming) • Feeling that they are “weird” or “not normal” due to victimization • Feels guilt about upsetting the family by telling • Feels ashamed if the abusive touching felt good (i.e., normal body responses)


Guilt & Shame

• Is relieved to tell the sexual abuse secret • Hopeful that they will be supported and get help

Hope & Relief

Mixed Emotions

• Feelings anger and love towards abuser (especially if family member) • Feeling relieved but sad


How the Parent/Caregiver Might Feel:

• You may feel rage toward the person who abused your child, betrayed your trust, and deceived and manipulated you • Anger at the child for not telling sooner • Anger at yourself for not ‘figuring it out’ or realizing sooner • Blaming yourself for not protecting your child • Guilt that the abuser was someone you love(d) • Feeling guilt for introducing abuser into your child’s life • Afraid of how the abuse will impact your child • Afraid of the consequences your child will have to suffer • Fearful about the family’s future and the consequences for the person who abused your child • This is much like anger, and ties in to wanting to take revenge on the offender for harming your child • Grieving for the loss of the life you had, or thought you had, before you knew about the sexual abuse • Feeling an extreme sense of isolation • Feeling like you’re the only one, and like no one can understand





Loneliness & Loss

Adapted from:

Page 13 of 32

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