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Sexual abuse is a tragic &
life-changing ordeal to go through. But it does not define the victim.

What can families of abuse survivors do to support their loved ones?

Recovery from sexual abuse is an ongoing and challenging process. But survivors don't have to go through it alone. There are numerous types of support that can help survivors during their recovery journey.

For one, survivors' rights attorneys can provide legal support to help individuals who have faced sexual abuse pursue justice through civil legal claims. Such claims can provide a route to resources to help with recovery.

Then there is the support and guidance therapists, counselors and health professionals can provide.

Family can also be a critical part of the support network for abuse survivors. How can family members help loved ones who have faced abuse with their continuing recovery journey? A recent New York Times article gave some suggestions on this front. These include:

  • Let them you know you are there if they want someone to talk to, but don't pressure them
  • Educate yourself on the effects of abuse so you can provide understanding support
  • If they do share their story with you, be a good listener
  • Let them know you believe them
  • Don't try to "fix" things, just focus on being there for them
  • Be supportive in an ongoing manner throughout the different stages of their journey
  • Get the support you need to ensure you are able to be there for them
  • Make sure that in your efforts to help, you are not taking over control from them
  • Be respectful of their journey

We hope all sexual abuse survivors get the support they need to move forward towards the bright future they deserve.

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