Opening Up to Someone About Abuse
Posted on Friday, June 26th, 2020 at 6:25 pm
Taking the First Step: How to open up to someone about your abuse
In our society it has been “taboo” to discuss matters of a sexual nature, in particular childhood sexual abuse. Whether you had feelings about your own sexuality or feelings of a sexual nature toward someone else, these things were just not discussed.
But what happens when someone you thought you could trust, or were supposed to trust, breaks a boundary and touches you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable or uneasy? What happens when someone forces themselves on you sexually and takes advantage of your naivety and controls you by putting the fear in you?
What happens if you’re so confused, you do not know what to think? Sexual assault is in no way related to the sexual orientation of the perpetrator or the survivor, and a person’s sexual orientation cannot be caused by sexual abuse or assault.
As a child you do not understand why this person is acting this way toward you or making you do things that you know nothing about. As a child, you do not know how to stand up for yourself and make your abuse stop. So instead, you begin to question yourself, “Did I do something wrong?” “Did I deserve this?,” “I know them so it must be ok, right?” The answer is always “NO”. No, you didn’t do anything wrong. You didn’t deserve it and it’s not ok! As a victim of child sexual abuse, you feel apprehensive that no one will believe you, in fact you were even told by your abuser that no one will ever believe you. So, what do you then? For too long, survivors of childhood sexual abuse kept their secret inside until it burned a gaping hole in their stomach. For too long, survivors of sexual assault lived through their life being turned upside down. Thankfully, new laws are allowing these survivors to come forward and pursue the justice they deserve.
When a survivor speaks up for herself and takes the first step by telling someone about the abuse, that person begins to heal. It may seem like a small step but to a victim of child abuse it seems nearly impossible to do. Victims of sexual abuse are constantly burdened by the feelings of shame and embarrassment. It’s very common for these victims to hide the truth from their families and loved ones. It becomes very challenging to trust again so it’s simpler to just bottle it up. Fear of being judged is another reason why victims do not speak up.
What is vital to understand is that no one will judge you for what happened to you when you were an innocent child. A true confidant will only listen and help you get through your traumatic experience. As a victim of childhood sexual abuse, it is extremely beneficial to the mind and soul to have someone by your side. That support will empower you and give you the strength and courage you need to overcome this trauma that you experienced. You are not alone in this. Unfortunately, there are countless victims of sexual abuse in our society and they know exactly what you’re going through. Living with this dark secret can really affect your future and hinder your ability to make the right choices. When you work through the trauma early on, it can shape your future in a positive way. It brings down barriers that seemed impossible to break down.
At Hach & Rose, LLP, we are committed to achieving that justice. We will work thoroughly and passionately to represent those who felt they could not protect themselves. If you or a loved one has suffered from any form of sexual assault, it is crucial to act now. Do not hesitate to contact the New York sexual abuse lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP today at (212) 779-0057. Our compassionate, caring, and experienced attorneys will work diligently to uncover whether criminal charges, a civil lawsuit – or both – can be filed against the perpetrator or negligent third party who is responsible for the abuse and its damages to you.