Every day many mothers face the awful reality of finding out that their children have been sexually abused. Most sexual abuse takes place within homes. In fact, it is usually committed by someone who is trusted by the child.

If the person who has abused your child is your partner, husband or boyfriend, you may experience a mixture of feelings. You will feel shocked, confused, disbelieving, numb, guilty, betrayed, frightened, hurt, a failure as a wife and mother, angry at him for his actions, at yourself for not being able to stop it and at your child for not telling you, worried about the consequences.

In retrospect many women say that they had a ‘gut feeling’ that something was not OK. But sexual abuse is the last thing that most people expect to be happening in their family. It is not your fault that you were not aware of it sooner.

Many women believe that their partner abused their child because they were not fulfilling his sexual needs, or because they failed as a wife and mother or that he could not control himself. But the truth is that many men who sexually abuse children are having normal sexual relationships with wives or girlfriends. The reason why men sexually abuse children is connected to their need to feel powerful and in control. It is not about sex. He is in control of his behavior and he can choose not to abuse.You are not responsible for the sexual abuse. At the time you may have been working long hours, unhappy, no longer sexually interested, but always remember that each individual is ultimately responsible for his own behavior.

Your child is not responsible for the sexual abuse. No-one ever asks to be sexually abused. It is possible for whatever reasons for a child to care for the person who is abusing them. But this does not mean that they want the abuse to happen or that they like it.

Things to do:

  1. Believe them
  2. Praise them for telling
  3. Try to understand why they couldn’t tell you earlier or at all
  4. Allow them to have as much control as possible over the decisions which are made about them
  5. Allow them to feel and express the whole range of feelings they may be experiencing
  6. Help them feel safe
  7. Protect them from further abuse
  8. Respect their secrets, don’t tell others what has happened without their permission to do so.

3 thoughts on “Sexually Abused Children

  1. bubba33

    I am a single mother of 2 girls and i was sexually abused as a child by a man i loved, trusted and respected, i came forward and told my mother on several occassions and it was hard for her eventually i turned to my dad, the abuse stopped after that however my families contact with the man did not this all began when i was 10 and stopped when i was 15 i am 21 now and i have legally had him charged myself i understand the trauma this puts children through and as a mother i could not imagine this happening to my children at all i do not know how i would react however i know that i would deffinetly believe them, support them, and get them help right away this site is a good place for abused children to read and it is just as helpful for the family of the child.

  2. buddy06

    My daughter come went to her day care lady 3 years ago and said that her father sexually abused her. The department of human services beleived us. Then we had to go to the family court and it was all turned around that I was mentally ill and put the idea in my daughters head. I then lost my daughter now for 18months and am still trying to get her back and prove I am not mentaly ill and that her father did hurt her. The worst part is that Dhs beleive the father and nothing I do or say seems to be able to change it.I feel like a failure as a mother that I cant protect my daughter and dont know how to bring her home where she belongs.

  3. Anne

    I was sexually abuse by my father from age of 14 to 18. I have told no one to this day, often have nightmares but if my mother finds out l am afraid she will die, she is not health. I thought l will take this secret to my grave. Three years ago, my son told me that he was sexually abuse by my ex-boss. My heart ripped to thousand pieace, l know exactly what he went through and every night all l am thinking is hate and wanting to kill him. My son was abou 14 when this happened. The man has been charged and the trial will start soon. I am proud of son to come out to tell the truth, only reason he went police was that so no more kids can get hurt by this man.

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