While it will be difficult to hear that someone you love has been abused, the thing to remember is that healing is possible.
Breaking the silence about their abuse can be one of the hardest things a survivor of childhood sexual abuse does. Even if it has been years since the abuse occurred, it is emotional, sensitive, and courageous to let someone else know about it.
It can also be difficult for the family member or friend who is receiving the news. Family members and friends have deep feelings of love and care for survivors, but many don’t know the best ways to support a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Hearing that a friend or family member was treated in such a horrible way can be very challenging. It might come as a shock, and most likely a flood of emotions will accompany the news.
So how can friends and family members respond appropriately? To help, here are five tips on how to respond (and not react) to your loved one when he or she breaks the silence of abuse:
While it will be difficult to hear that someone you love has been abused, the thing to remember is that healing is possible. With support and love from you and others, your loved one can overcome the trauma and find peace.
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