To nurture a safe space for children is to hold and surround them with care until they feel safe. But sometimes, when children go through, what possibly could be the worse situations, showing care and support becomes difficult. While we always focus on prevention, the sad truth is that many children end up being abused and neglected, regardless. In fact, one of the most famous studies done on the topic, by National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence, found out that more than 60% of children had been abused, directly or indirectly, in the last twelve months prior to the study.
More than often, parents and guardians are too hesitant to address the trauma that their children face because of abuse, especially if it comes from a family member. This ends up having lasting consequences on children, leading to devastating results that include drug and alcohol abuse, physical and mental health issues, homelessness etc.
So, what is the right way to show care and nurture a child sexual abuse victim? If you have a child who has been through these circumstances, here are few key ways you can create a nurturing environment for them, helping them recover from trauma and live a normal life:
Keep in mind that children are far more resilient than you think. Even when they are knocked down, the right environment and support can help them recover. However, when children go through traumatic events, their resiliency dies down, and this is where you need to work with them. Resiliency is built over time and nurtured through positive and healthy interactions with parents, teachers, mentors and others adults. Express your love towards them, encourage them to make friends and create connections and talk openly about bad behavior. Remember, building resiliency is a gradual process, so don’t rush it.
Create a Safe and Stable Environment
Your child’s world revolve around you. The relationship you have with them and with each other, at home, is fundamental to their wellbeing. Children who have been sexually abused have a hard time trusting people, even their own parents, which is why it is extremely important that you focus on building a stable relationship with your partner and providing a safe environment to them where they can open up.
Teach Them to Trusts Their Own Feelings
Never ask a child to follow adults carelessly, without asking questions, and ignore their own experiences. For child sexual abuse victims, it is important to rebuild critical thinking skills and learn how to trust their own intuition. This will only happen if they are encouraged to ask questions and talk about their experiences. Allow them to trust their inner voice and teach them the importance of right and wrong.
Encourage Them to Open Up
It not wise to brush aside the trauma your child has gone through. It will only encourage the child to build up anger and hurt in their heart, and sooner or later, this will come out in the worst way possible. You should encourage them to talk about difficult memories and the pain that they brought. Most importantly, keep reminding them that whatever happened was not their fault.
To Put It Briefly;
It is extremely important that you create a safe nurturing environment for a child sexual abuse victim so that they can let go off their trauma and live a joyful life, ahead. We, at Sanaa’s Stars, help combat child sexual abuse by working tirelessly to make an impact on vulnerable children. Our dedicated team provides child sexual abuse victims comfort, hope and support. So, if you know someone who needs help, get in touch with us, now.