Types of support for survivors of child sexual abuse
Survivors of child sexual abuse need help, even if they don’t always feel comfortable admitting it. The sexual abuse of a child causes substantial psychological trauma and ongoing consequences for adult life. In addition, many survivors of child abuse get intimate illnesses of varying complexity, which they have to deal with.
Long-lasting anxiety, depression, alcohol and drug addiction, and severe psychological disorders can affect those who have experienced child sexual abuse. Suicide can also be prevalent among such victims. Sexual abuse is often accompanied by physical or mental abuse, which lasts much longer and deepens the effects. In addition, the perpetrator is often a family member, close relative, or friend of the child’s family. Because of this, the cause of psychological distress, its primary source, is often close to the victim and serves to exacerbate the pain and anxiety.
The earlier sexual abuse survivors receive help and support, the more successful they will be in dealing with the aftermath and getting on with their lives.
What kind of help is needed to support survivors of Child Sexual Abuse?
Children have the right to feel safe. It is tough to regain that feeling if it is lost. The most important rule is to remove the source of danger. Further action should be aimed at restoring the mental balance of the survivor of historical child sexual abuse. We can achieve this goal through talking, counselling, and financial or other support.
National or private non-profit organizations can provide survivors of child sexual abuse with various types of help including but not limited to:
- Providing adequate and up-to-date information and clear instructions on behaviour
- Supporting basic needs for food, clothing, shelter
- Support in making safe decisions, instilling hope
- Other types of individual psychological counselling and therapy for victims of sexual violence
- medical assistance
- Financial assistance, including reimbursement for psychological or medical care
- legal aid
Victim assistance is a free public social service whose purpose is to preserve or improve a victim’s coping ability.
A list of Child Sexual Abuse Support Resources
In Australia, there are many sources of help for victims of child sexual abuse in both public and private institutions.
Child sexual abuse victims should not have to deal with the trauma alone. You should get all the help you need from professionals and not be afraid to tell your story.
Below is a list of the leading national services for victims of child sexual abuse. However, it would help if you kept in mind that this list is not exhaustive. However, when seeking help, ensure you get professional help not to worsen the effects of the abuse you have experienced.
Blue Knot provides information and support to anyone who has suffered from complex trauma. Complex trauma is repetitive, persistent, and often extreme interpersonal trauma (between people) – violence, abuse, neglect, or exploitation experienced in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.
Blue Knot also supports adult survivors of childhood trauma and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse through the National Redress Scheme.
Call 1300 657 380
Support from Bravehearts includes:
- Supporting children, youth, and families through their counselling services
- Providing early intervention for young people with sexual behaviour problems through their Turning Corners program, and
- Supporting adult survivors seeking redress through Beyond Brave
Call 1800 272 831
IGFF provides case management and advocacy support services to survivors, families, whistleblowers, and communities affected by institutional abuse. IGFF’s work includes reporting sexual and other types of assault as a child or as a vulnerable adult, whistleblowing, and reporting systemic abuse and institutional maltreatment.
Call 03 9326 1190.
1800RESPECT is the national domestic, family, and sexual violence counselling, information, and support service.
1800RESPECT is open 24 hours to help people impacted by sexual assault, domestic violence, and abuse.
Support can include things like:
- Listening to your experience
- Giving you information
- Supporting you in doctor visits and appointments
- Connecting you to the best services for you
- Help you with any financial problems
- Support in court
- Help with things you may find hard to do, like filling out legal forms.
Call 1800 737 732
It is a national charity that provides all Australians experiencing emotional distress with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services, including among victims of child sexual abuse. The phone is available 24 hours / 7 days. It is Australia’s most extensive crisis support line. Any person in Australia can talk to a trained Crisis Supporter over the phone, any time of the day or night. Lifeline Text 0477 13 11 14 or Online chat is also available 24 hours / 7 days.
Call 13 11 14
The Consequences of Violence on Children
Violence has many consequences on children’s lives, including their social development, current and future health status, and standard of living. Moreover, those children exposed to violence are more likely to use it in their lives. Thus the abuse is transmitted from one generation to the next.
Therefore, the goal of society and the state as a whole is to prevent child sexual abuse and, if it has occurred, to minimize the consequences.
Legal assistance is also aimed at acknowledging and compensating for the abuse suffered, which victims of child sexual abuse can get by calling the lawyers at Koffels on 02 9283 5599, among others.
You cannot hide your pain inside because it will destroy you. It would be best if you were heard. Ask for help.