Adult survivors of child sexual abuse often share their stories with us at Defend Innocence. A heartbreaking trend in many of these stories comes when the survivor broke their silence for the first time. As a child they had the courage to tell a parent, loved one, or trusted adult that they were being sexually abused.

And that person didn’t help them.

Though the reasons and circumstances differ, each of these adults has one thing in common—they looked the other way. They let the abuse continue because they didn’t believe it was happening, they didn’t want to “ruin” the family, or they simply didn’t help.

At Defend Innocence, we KNOW that looking the other way is not worth the cost. The burden that survivors have to carry—a burden they should never have been given—is too heavy.

We implore you, when a child comes to you telling you that they have been sexually abused, HELP THEM. Don’t dismiss what they’re saying. Don’t brush their feelings aside. Listen. Really listen. Breaking the silence can be very emotional, and you may not feel that you have the strength to “fix” it. That’s okay. Help the child find someone who can. Just don’t turn your back, because you may be the only person who will listen and act. Don’t look the other way.

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