Liberty Dispatch is concerned, like I am sure many of our readers are, about the growing problems of child abuse. From the recent revelations about the revered and trusted assistant coach at Penn State to internet seduction to the growing numbers of reported parental sexual abuse, it is sad.
Your reaction to the disclosure will have a big effect on how your child deals with the trauma of sexual abuse. Children whose parents/caregivers are supportive heal more quickly from the abuse.
To be supportive, the first thing you should do is to get your child as far away from the abuser as possible. After that it is important to:
1) Stay calm. Hearing that your child has been abused can bring up powerful emotions, if you become upset, angry, or out of control, this will only make it more difficult for your child to disclose
2)Believe your child, and let your child know that he or she is not to blame for what happened. Praise your child for being brave and for telling about the sexual abuse.
3) Protect your child by getting him or her away from the abuser and immediately
reporting the abuse to local authorities.
If you are not sure who, to contact, call the ChildHelp® National Child Abuse Hotline at 1.800.4.A.CHILD (1.800.422.4453; http://www.childhelp.org/get_help) or, for immediate help, call 911.