Children & Young People
Many young people who have been abused know the abuser. This can be a close friend or relative, or a figure of authority, such as someone at school or a relative – in fact anyone.
The abuser is skilled in seeking out a vulnerable child and may have spent a long time grooming the child, and possibly their family, to gain their trust. Abusers often shift the blame away from themselves and place the blame for the abuse on the child, telling the child that it is their fault they have been abused. It is important to understand that it is never the fault of the child – the blame and guilt always lie with the abuser.
The abuser may threaten or bribe the child into not speaking up; convincing the child that he or she will never be believed.
Abuse thrives on secrecy, and speaking out and acknowledging what happened to you is a very important part of healing.
If you have been sexually abused you may feel frightened, confused, angry and alone whether the abuse happened recently or a long time ago, happened only once or many times.
A counsellor can help you to overcome the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings you may be experiencing.