Physical and sexual abuse affects millions of children around the globe. Domestic violence, bullying and sexual abuse can have a grave impact on a child’s physical and mental health and lead to long-term social and learning problems. As the Catholic Church abuse scandal has unfolded, our child abuse attorneys have seen more and more people coming forward to tell their stories — both children and adults. Understanding how to support your child through an abuse case can provide them with a sense of security and confidence and give your whole family more space for healing.
Let Your Child Know You Love And Support Them, No Matter What
All children need love and support from their parents and families, but it is particularly important after a child has been abused. Kids without supportive families often blame themselves for what happened to them and can develop serious mental health problems like PTSD, anxiety and depression. Although children are resilient and some possess the inner strength it takes to cope well after abuse, having the solid support of their parents is vital to help them weather the storm and grow into happy, healthy adults.
How To Support Your Child
Children who have been abused can experience an array of emotions that may include fear, anger, guilt, sadness and relief. Encourage your child to express and explore these emotions in age-appropriate ways, which may include play and drawing with younger children or having frank discussions with older children. Be patient and listen carefully to what they are saying. Affirm your child’s feelings by responding with empathy and compassion. It’s also important to give them clear guidelines about when, where and with whom they can speak about the abuse so they are safe when doing so.
Identifying adults they can talk to at home, at school, in therapy and within the legal system or any other environments can facilitate healing, reduce anxiety and help them feel safe. It’s also vital to continue with the usual routine, structure and rules of daily life as soon as possible. While your child definitely needs extra support and TLC, indulging or overlooking poor behavior can lead to bigger problems in the long run.
It’s also essential for your child and family to seek the services of a qualified mental health professional. Counseling not only provides the valuable support they need, it can help you learn effective ways to comfort your child and strengthen your bond. Child psychologists recommend other things you can do to keep your child calm and on track through the process, including doing a check-in to see how they’re feeling at the beginning and end of the day, engaging them in a daily mindfulness practice such as meditation or yoga, reading, listening to music, getting outside in nature and encouraging them to spend time with friends and family members they trust. Your child abuse attorney can point you in the direction of additional resources for the family if needed.
How To Deal With Legal Proceedings
The thought of testifying in court can be terrifying to a child. Before you go to court, talk privately with your child abuse attorney about what to expect. That way, you’ll have answers if your child asks questions about what will happen in court proceedings. Depending on the circumstances, children may be able testify in front of a judge privately. Your attorney can also provide answers and comfort to your child and walk them through the process before you even enter mediation or a courtroom. An experienced child abuse lawyer will ensure that proceedings are followed to the letter of the law, protect your child’s rights and interests, and fight to help them receive the justice and compensation they deserve.
Contact An Experienced Child Abuse Attorney
To learn more about how to support your child through an abuse case, contact Stanley Law Offices online or call 800-608-3333 to schedule a FREE consultation with a capable, compassionate child abuse lawyer today. Se habla español.