3 Ways to Protect Your Child From Feeling Shame
Sammi, an adult survivor of child sexual abuse, shared this about her experience:
Losing my innocence at the age of six and being the victim of a date rape at the age of fifteen was something I hid from everyone who knew me. I always felt as if I was to blame for allowing this to happen to me. I never talked about it to anyone. I just hid it with alcohol. I would just hide from the world and live in depression.”Sammi, Survivor
Too many survivors of sexual abuse have the same experience as Sammi: they feel shame about what happened, and this shame leads them to make unhealthy choices and suffer in silence for years. These survivors blame themselves for something someone else did, and they say nothing. But things don’t have to turn out this way. As a parent, you protect your child from sexual abuse, but if something happens, you can do a lot to ensure that your child doesn’t suffer in the silence and isolation of shame.
Have open conversations about sex.
Be on your child’s side.
If you find out something happened, do something.
In his bookHealing the Shame that Binds You, John Bradshaw explains that when you internalize shame, you feel like “nothing about you is okay. You feel flawed and inferior; you have the sense of being a failure.” As a parent, your goal is to help your child experience success and self-acceptance, not disappointment and self-defeat. With support and encouragement, your child will see themselves in the positive way you do.
Share this Post