Frequently Asked Questions
This is a great question, and one with many answers. But ultimately, if you really feel there is substantial evidence pointing towards someone you know being a child sex abuser, then seek advice and support from your local children’s social service, you can also get advice or report your concerns anonymously to the NSPCC by phoning its free helpline on 0808 800 5000 and if you have hard evidence then just call the police. But one thing is for certain, don’t ever brush an inkling away or gloss over this question, it is serious and that child may need you to be brave.
Finding out your child has been sexually abused will be devastating, and there will be many conversations going on in your head; the why’s, how did it happen, when, with who, am I a bad parent for not protecting my child, and so it goes on. It would be very easy to fire all of your questions at once to your child. But I suggest you take a moment and reflect on this. Your child needs you, not your pain and anger. I would always advise a caring arm, and consideration to your child. Children sharing such difficult news will be feeling very scared, it will be a moment in their life that has taken some time for them to get to. There will be a bucket load of emotions from you both. Times like this need empathy, listening ears and team-work and also ‘believing’ your child. I see time and time again families fall apart over this, and it really shouldn’t be this way. Ask gentle questions, show you are there and that you will do anything you can to support them through this.
*if you feel like you need support (which I think is a good idea) then seek out a professional who can help guide you through this painful time.
One of the hardest things to do is to share openly what you have locked down for many years. It is like sharing a dirty secret, but the important thing to remember is that this dirty secret isn’t yours, it is the perpetrators, and you did nothing wrong. Understanding you have done nothing wrong and sharing this won’t be easy, I advise you to speak with a professional to help you navigate this conversation further. Another important consideration is that people you love may not respond in the way you were hoping either and this won’t be an easy pill to swallow, especially given the dark and painful years you have endured. Navigating your way through this is a bit like going through treacle, but remember you can’t take responsibility for how other people behave, just stay focused on your own recovery and future peace.