Support and reassurance from parents or caregivers can significantly reduce the impact of the abuse on the child.
If you are a parent or caregiver of a child who has been sexually abused, it is natural for you to feel shocked and numb about the incident. However, it is important to be calm and remind yourself that your support and reassurance can significantly alleviate the impact of the abuse on the child. Child psychiatrist Dr Preeti Jacob of NIMHANS, shares some pointers that can help you effectively offer support to a child who has survived abuse.
Also read: When a child confides in you
Inputs have been taken from Treating Sexually Abused Children and Their Nonoffending Parents: A Cognitive Behavioural Approach by Esther Deblinger and Anne Hope Heflin from the Interpersonal Violence: The Practice Series (Jon R Conte, Series Editor), Sage Publications, California, USA, 1996. (ISBN 0-8039-5929-X pbk). This is a wonderful book for both mental health professionals and parents to deal with children and families who have undergone sexual abuse.
Dr Preeti Jacob is an assistant professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at NIMHANS