. . . . . How to Support a Child Following a Sexual Abuse Disclosure
Structure Maintain structure by keeping activities and routines the same. Familiarity offers security for your child. Connection Check-in regularly to see how the child is feeling to show that you care. Communicating openly with your children will let them know that you are there for them. Show your child your support. Confidentiality Ensure that the abuse disclosure and information is only told to those who need to know. Make sure that anyone that does know does not to tell others. Children and youth will feel relieved to know that their private information is contained. Boundaries Re-establish boundaries if the child acts out. Redefining appropriate behaviour with limits will provide security for the child. Continue discipline as usual – parents often report feeling guilty disciplining their child following abuse; however these boundaries and structure remain important. Safety Part of re-establishing a felt sense of safety following abuse is to establish both emotional safety and physical safety . This means staying open to your child if/when they want to talk about what happened with you and using the strategies on page 15 when they do. An important part of re-establishing a felt sense of physical safety is reminding your child that they are safe and that you will keep them away from their offender .
More than anything a child needs to be reminded over and over that they are loved, that they are safe, and that they are not alone.
Adapted from: protectchildren.ca
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