It can be extremely difficult to hear that your child has been abused or sexual assaulted, and you may feel a lot of different emotions as result – anger, shame and guilt are common.
If your child is telling you that they have been hurt by someone else, even if it’s someone you trust completely, the most important things you can do are:
- Listen to them.
- Believe them.
- Continue to offer unconditional support and love.
- Be patient with them.
- Encourage them.
- Reassure them that their feelings are normal.
- Give them choices.
It is also really important that you look after yourself at this time. Supporting a loved on who had experienced sexual violence can bring up a lot of complex feeling for you as well. It’s important that you take note of these and have a safe space where you are able to express them.
Our helpline, email and live chat support services offer confidential emotional support for women and girls who are supporting a female survivor.
The Rape Crisis England and Wales 24/7 Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Line offers emotional support for anyone aged 16+ in England and Wales who is supporting a survivor of sexual violence.
Safeline runs the National Male Survivor Helpline which offers emotional support for men who are supporting a survivor. MOSAC provides supportive services for non-abusing parents and carers whose children have been sexually abused.
We also offer counselling for mothers and non-binary parents/carers of survivors, to give you the time and peace needed to think and talk things through with an experienced counsellor. Fathers and male carers can access therapeutic support via our partner centre, Peterborough Rape Crisis Care Group.