Act to Heal the Sexually Abused Child

Sexual abuse is happening to three million children in the U.S. - that means in an average eighth grade classroom of 30 children, six children are currently being sexually abused.

Act:

  1. View child sexual abuse as a health problem.

  2. Be the capable adult who will help a child with this problem.

  3. Protect the child physically. Separate the child from his or her abuser.

  4. Protect the child emotionally:

    1. It is NEVER the child's fault, repeat this fact often to the child.

    2. As a parent, say you will always love the child. Show the child that this is true with words and behavior.

    3. Tell the child that very likely, other children in the classroom have this problem.

    4. Tell the child that very likely the abuser has a health problem, and may need medicine and other treatments.

    5. Let the child know that he or she never has to be in the same room with the abuser - even a father, brother, uncle - if the child doesn't wish it.

    6. Take the child to a therapist who specializes in the treatment of sexually abused children.

    7. Protect the child victim, especially boy victims, from developing a sexual interest in younger children with a second-step to good health. Be sure, with the help of a sex-specific therapist, that a boy victim (especially a boy who has been repeatedly sexually abused) does NOT develop a sexual interest in younger children. Be aware that this sexual interest in younger children might lie dormant until the onset of puberty and then become a health problem for the child

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