Resources for Families

Resources for Families

  • Understand if your child doesn’t tell you about the incident immediately or if they don’t come to you first. There are a number of reasons why they might avoid telling you about it.  Rather than focusing on why they delayed coming to you, you should direct your energy into helping them heal. Don’t ask them to defend or justify their decision.
  • Be honest with your child about your feelings — it’s ok to admit that it’s a difficult topic to discuss, but be clear that you are willing to talk and listen about anything.
  • Control your emotions when talking to your child about the incident. You will probably feel many things including sadness, anger, guilt or even shame, but try not to let your feelings overshadow those of your child. It is hard for children to see their parents struggle, and they might feel guilty for upsetting you if your emotions get out of hand.
  • Realize that you can’t fix the problem. You might feel tempted to push your child to seek legal justice or other types of “solutions," but there is no way to make an assault go away. Let your child make their own decisions and be supportive of those choices.
  • Don’t forget to take care of yourself and spend time coming to terms with your own feelings about the assault — seek professional help if you need to. Among other emotions, you might be feeling guilty.

Here is additional information for families of sexual violence survivors.

For additional information on relationships and dating violence visit loveisrespect.org.