You are probably reading this page because you have been abused but maybe have never told anyone about it.
You might have buried it away even from yourself and got on with your life.
This is a coping strategy that many children and adults use perhaps because there is nothing else they can do at that time. Usually there is a good reason for not telling anyone about the bad things that happen. Children particularly will find it hard to tell because they are brought up to believe and trust adults and to do what they are told. They do not have the power to protect themselves.
If you have been abused or raped and kept quiet about it you are not alone.
You may have kept quiet for any of these reasons
- You had no one to tell who you could trust
- You were too young to speak
- You couldn’t put it into words
- You were too frightened because you were being threatened
- You were made to feel guilty or responsible for it happening
- You were afraid of being blamed
- You were afraid of being rejected or punished
- You were afraid of the stigma
- You were afraid of the consequences for others
Whatever the circumstances, abuse is always the fault of the abuser and so is rape always the fault of the rapist.
You may have got on with your life without speaking out but have been troubled beneath the surface or feel troubled now. We hope that you may be at a point in your life now where you can reach out for help.
Abuse thrives on secrecy and speaking about it is an important part of healing.
It is a big step to break your own silence especially when you have been quiet for a long time. People often doubt that counselling can help.
We want to help you to:
- Completely and totally believe that you were not to blame
- Completely and totally believe that you did not deserve to be abused
- Feel confident with yourself, your life and your choices for the future
Try to believe that the effects of abuse can be worked through and overcome.
Step One is to acknowledge what has happened – by being on this website you have got this far
Step Two is to break the silence – possibly phone our support line if you do not feel ready to talk to someone face to face
Step Three is to live through and integrate the many painful feelings that come from having been abused – you will need to be supported by a counsellor as you work through this
Step Four is the resolution – where you are free to move on with your life, concentrate on the present and make positive choices for the future.
You may find it helpful to read the stories of other people who have experienced abuse and come through the healing process.
And if you would like to talk to us then please contact our support line or phone our office.
The Courage to Heal: A Guide to Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse by Ellen Bass and Lauren Davies
Victims No Longer: The Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse by Mike Lew
Allies in Healing: When the Person You love was Sexually Abused as a Child by Laura Davis