When it comes to helping a victim of sexual abuse, you should be extremely careful. The victim is emotionally charged, and in case you handle the situation incorrectly, the person might take drastic steps such as ending their lives or even running away from home to be subject to more danger on the roads if alone. Here, one should take the help of a skilled and professional counselor for aid and assistance as to how to help the victim recover and heal to move forward.
Dr. Robert Turner – A guide for family and friends of an abuse victim
Dr. Robert Turner goes to the church regularly, and he shares his deep faith by offering his professional expertise as a compassionate and skilled counselor to those who have been victims of sexual abuse. Such incidents in life and traumatic, and they leave a scar on the person. However, he believes with different forms of treatment and regular counseling; a victim can overcome the trauma and move forward in life.
He is an active participant in socio-civic activities like home improvement projects, food drives, and other types of community service in his local church. He feels immense fulfillment and joy when he is a part of such activities that serve the community, especially those who are less fortunate.
How can you help the victim?
When it comes to helping a victim of sexual abuse, effective communication is the key to his or her well-being. The following are some suggestions for friends and family to follow-
- Remain calm. It is obvious you will feel outraged and shocked; however, if you express these emotions aloud to the victim, he/she will experience discomfort and confusion, especially if the victim is young.
- Believe what the victim is saying. You need to make it clear to the victim that you believe his/her words that the abuse or the assault occurred and it was not their fault.
- Give control to the victim. Remember, control was taken away from the victim during the abuse or the assault. Empower and allow the victim to decide on what should be the steps taken. Try to avoid instructing the victim what to do.
- Be available for the victim to express mixed emotions like being silent, screaming, crying, anger, etc. Remember, the victim is angry with the whole situation and the person who abused or assaulted him/her. You just need to be there to listen.
- Give the victim your constant support. In fact, the victim needs this assurance that your relationship with them is intact regardless of the outcome.
- Do not make threats against the accused. Such threats will unsettle the victim, and he/she will become concerned about risks and your safety.
- Maintain strict confidentiality. Let the victim decide on the next step to be taken.
In this way, friends and family can help a victim of abuse. However, it is prudent for you to always consult a skilled counselor such as Dr. Robert Turner to help the person heal and recover from this traumatic incident. Moreover, the proper authorities should be informed so that action is taken against the offender as soon as possible.