Did you know that almost 700,000 American children experience abuse each year? The number could be even higher considering the cases of abuse that go unreported.
65% of cases investigated by Children Advocacy Centers involve sexual abuse of minors. In 2019, there were 243,039 cases involving sexual abuse of children. 15% of abused children suffer from multiple forms of abuse which can include other forms of physical abuse, neglect, or witnessing violence.
If you or your child have suffered sexual abuse there are many ways to start healing from the abuse trauma. Keep reading to learn more.
Seek Help From a Mental Health Professional
Sexual abuse is a traumatic event that no one should ever have to experience. Recovering from that can be a lifelong process. One of the best things you can do to help yourself process all the feelings and challenges you’re facing is seeing a therapist.
A therapist is equipped with the training to help guide you through the emotions you’re experiencing and help you discover healthy ways of coping. This decision shouldn’t be rushed and taking this brave step should be made on your own terms.
Create a Support Network
After a sexual assault, feelings of isolation might begin to crop up. Holding on to fear and anger can become harmful. Reaching out to a loved one about what you’re feeling can help you get through a bad day.
Support groups are a great way to connect to other people who’ve had similar experiences and know what you’re going through. Joining a group in person or online can help you feel more understood through this difficult process.
Talk to an Attorney
Many survivors feel empowered by seeking criminal prosecution against their abusers. If you’ve suffered clergy abuse you can reach out to an abuse lawyer to help you build a case and get the justice you deserve.
A good attorney will help you send your abuser to jail or get you a court settlement that will help you with some of the financial burdens you’ve experienced after your assault.
Self Care Is Essential
While seeking justice through the legal system might be a big step in helping you heal from the trauma of sexual abuse, there are small ways you can take care of yourself too. Remember to take the time to do things that make you feel joy, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed by your experience.
Self-care can be as simple as taking your dog on a walk through the park. You can practice mindfulness and meditation in times of anxiety or try yoga.
Be Careful of the Media You Consume
You should become aware of things that trigger feelings of distress. This can include media containing scenes of sexual abuse or even news stories about it. Try to avoid these so that those feelings don’t come up.
The Best Resources to Help You Process Your Sexual Abuse
Recovering from sexual abuse is a long and arduous journey. Speaking to an attorney and seeking help from a mental health professional are some of the ways that you can start the process of healing. Check out some of our other blogs to learn more.
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