WE HAVE VOICES TOO
Child Sexual Assault/Abuse is a huge problem. According to RAINN, every 8 seconds child protective services substantiates, or finds evidence of sexual assault/abuse in the US alone.
Voices Beyond Assault (VBA) wants to acknowledge that children are also victims and that they have voices too! Children of sexual assault/abuse are often left without the necessary resources to be heard and helped. However, at VBA we aim to recognise these voices through our ‘We Have Voices Too,’ initiative; which is a VBA sub-branch built to allow children who have experienced sexual assault/abuse to talk about their experiences of individual trauma and begin healing.
If you know something, SAY something. No child’s life should ever be affected by sexual assault/abuse.
Resources for Children:
- Call 9-1-1 if possible
- Rape Crisis Hotline: (608) 251-7273
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800.656.HOPE (4673) – to talk to someone from your local sexual assault service provider who is trained to help.
- RAINN: https://centers.rainn.org/
- Childhelp National Abuse Hotline: 800.4.A.CHILD(4454) – any time to be connected with a trained volunteer who can help you through the process of reporting the crime.
- Childhelp USA/National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-422-4453 – visit their site at www.childhelpusa.org
Supporting a Child After Abuse:
- BELIEVE THEM. Assure them that you hear them.
- Take the proper measures to protect them by restoring safety, this should be considered a priority. Sexual abuse takes away a child’s sense of control over his or her surroundings and can lessen the faith that adults will protect them.
- Help the child understand that the person who abused them DID something wrong and that it was NOT their fault.
- Pay close attention to the child’s cues about what he or she may need to feel safe and comfortable. What the child needs may be different from what you may expect.
- Build up their sense of confidence and security.
- Protect their story and secure their privacy but keeping it between you and only others that can help them. Be careful not to talk about the abuse with anyone who does not need to know.