Children and Teens Program
HELP FOR PARENTS OF VICTIMS
Tips for Parents of Sexually Abused Children
More help for Parents of Girls and Boys
- Believe the child. Children rarely lie about sexual abuse.
- Commend the child for telling you about the experience. Let the child know s/he
should tell you if it happens again.
- Convey your support for the child. A child's greatest fear is the s/he is at fault
and is responsible for the abuse. It is crucial to let them know it was not their fault.
- Don't assume you know what the child is feeling.
- Understand your own feelings regarding the matter. Temper your own reaction,
recognizing that your perspective and acceptance are critical signals to the child. Your greatest challenge may be to not convey your own horror about the abuse.
- Do not pressure the child to talk about the incident, but provide opportunities to
(From the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault)
Parenting Tips for Families Experiencing Domestic Violence
The effects of domestic violence on children can be different for each child within the family.
When experiencing violence in their home, each child often has special needs. Here are some
hints to help you and your children:
- Let your child know that they are not responsible for the abuse.
- Be honest with your children about the physical and emotional abuse. Remember to
keep in mind their age and to speak in words that they understand.
- Listen and encourage children to talk about what they have experienced. Help them
put words to their feelings.
- Give your children lots of hugs, kisses, and verbal praise during this confusing
time for them.
- If you decide to leave an abusive partner, explain to the children what is happening.
- Try to broaden support systems for you and your children:
- extended family and friends
- support groups
- make new friendships
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