Child sexual abuse for most victims is an experience that is both traumatic and confusing. Most of them find it hard to accept what really happened to them, and that’s why most end up having behavioral and psychological problems in the long run. Experts contend that counseling and therapy help the victims move on and heal the wounds of the abuse. However, the first crucial part of the healing process is really about telling the sexual abuse story.
It is quite common for a lot of victims not to disclose what happened. This is primarily caused by fear, embarrassment, or plain confusion. Keep in mind that the victims are children and there is no way for them to respond well like adults. Then again, adult sexual abuse victims have just as hard a time dealing with the trauma. There are quite a number of victims who are not able to move on. They are constantly haunted by the trauma even when they reach adulthood, or years after the actual abuse took place. So how are they going to get past the trauma and painful memories? Part of the answer is sharing and disclosure.
When victims prefer to hide and keep the pain, they will never heal from it. If you are one of these victims, you have to remember that there are actually a lot of benefits to telling your child sexual abuse story. Let’s enumerate them:
1. The experience of being abused results in the devaluing and sudden loss of one’s sense of self. But if you succeed in sharing your story with the people you love and trust, there’s a chance that they can help you understand what has happened to you. Most victims think that by not letting anyone know, they also can convince themselves that the abuse wasn’t really a life changer. Unfortunately, it is. By telling what you have been through, you are also telling them that the abuse really impacted your life and you are ready for the wound to be healed.
2. By telling your story, you are telling the truth. For your entire life, you cannot just live a lie and hope no one will know it. You may actually hide it from others but you can never do the same for yourself. Have the courage to share your story and you will realize later on how the wounds begin to heal.
3. As long as you continue to keep it a secret, you are also putting yourself captive to the offender. Although the abuse has already been consummated, there is no escape as long as you elect not to tell anyone about it. But if you do try to disclose it, people close to you will definitely help put closure to the trauma and start helping you out build a brighter future.
4. If you think telling someone about the abuse puts you in shame, you’re wrong. The best way to get rid of shame is telling your loved ones that you have been abused. If you have the courage to do this, your family will see you as someone who’s strong enough to fight off the trauma and consequences of the abuse.
5. By telling your child sexual abuse experience, you become a good example for all other victims who do not have the kind of courage and strength you have. They will see you as a good example of how victims can actually live normal lives and get rid of the negative effects it has inflicted upon them. It can also potentially save the lives of future victims, if your abuser is still roaming free.