It’s never too late to begin the process of recovery

Adults who have had experiences of sexual abuse as children need and deserve a chance to speak about their experiences with those who understand and can help. Survivors of child sexual abuse can also play a critical role in the prevention of further abuse to other children. If you or someone you love needs support to recover, now is the time to reach out for help.

I am looking for resources for my own recovery and healing

I know an adult survivor who may need recovery resources

I am a survivor worried about a situation where a child may be at risk

I am concerned that the person who abused me will harm a child now

 

I am looking for resources for my own recovery and healing

Getting help makes a difference

If you are a survivor of sexual abuse as a child, it is very important to seek professional support and guidance for your recovery. The impact of sexual abuse by another child, teen or adult can change over time and unfold as a young person grows into adulthood. Those who are offered or reach out for specialized counseling and support greatly increase their ability to integrate their experience and move forward towards a safe, healthy and productive life.

Concern for a child's safety can sometimes trigger an adult's personal history

If you are concerned that a child has been, or is at-risk to be, sexually abused, personal issues related to your sexual abuse history can be triggered – particularly if the child is close to the age when you were abused. In order to best help the child, you need to take care of yourself right now, too. Finding professionals and friends who can support you now is a good step in the right direction for you and the child at-risk.

Find the support you deserve

Even if you were offered support and resources earlier in life, if you are feeling the need for support at this time, we encourage you to seek the help you need and deserve. Below are places to call for help and materials to read specifically for adults who have experienced abusive, harmful or confusing sexual events as a child or teen.

Counseling and support resources for adult survivors of child sexual abuse

To file reports about your own or someone else’s victimization

 

I know an adult survivor who may need recovery resources

They may not be able to ask for help, but you can offer

Care enough to take the risk and talk about it. If you are an adult concerned for a friend or loved one who you know or suspect has experienced sexual abuse as a child, your support and understanding can be critical to their recovery. There are many resources that can help you to better understand what an adult survivor may be experiencing now and how the recovery process evolves over time. Sharing the resources you find here with the person you’re concerned about is a great place to start.

Finding specialized support benefits everyone

Perhaps you are concerned for this person because you are noticing that they are distressed or suffering symptoms that are associated with the impact of child sexual abuse. Maybe you are worried because their feelings and behaviors may pose a risk to themselves or to those around them. Speaking honestly to this survivor with patience, respect and concern, along with the ability to offer outside help, just may be what they are privately hoping for. 

Counseling and support resources for adult survivors of child sexual abuse
Especially for partners and allies of survivors

 

I am a survivor worried about a situation where a child may be at risk

You have valuable instincts that can help prevent the abuse of a child

If you are concerned about the safety of a child, we encourage you to trust your gut feelings. Sometimes vague feelings of discomfort or the sense that “something just isn’t right” can be an indication that something less visible is occurring in the background. Please take time to explore the situation further. We have heard from many adult survivors who “pick up on” early warning signs and signals from adults and children who may be in a risky situation.

You can start by reviewing the information available here at the Online Help Center, gather your thoughts and make a plan that fits your situation. There are many steps that can be taken before a child is harmed. You don’t have to wait until there is “proof” that abuse has occurred to act. Start Over and change your answers to match the situation you are concered about and get more information.

If you’re concerned for a child right now
To file reports about your own or someone else’s victimization

 

I am concerned that the person who abused me will harm a child now

Find alliesi who share your concerns

Some survivors are able to safely re-establish relationships to the people who sexually abused them. Others choose or must maintain a distance to be or feel safe. If you feel that the person who abused you currently poses a risk to a child or teen, it is important to share your concerns with others who can be alliesi to you in taking steps to protect this young person.

Perhaps you are recognizing signs of risk in the child or the adult. Maybe this child is near the age when you yourself suffered abuse. We urge you to trust your intuitions and act on your instincts by speaking to other adults who can take steps to protect this child from risk or harm. If it is safe to do so, help determine who could be the best person to alert this adult to his or her worrisome behaviors.

As a survivor, your experience can help everyone involved

Learn the statute of limitations in your state for reporting child sexual abuse. Filing reports about your own abuse (with the support of a counselor) can be a step to take if you believe that the same person who harmed you may have abused someone who is now a minor. If others are already concerned, your coming forward can help ease the burden of disclosure the child or teen may be facing.

If you believe that this child has already been sexually abused you can file a report directly with child protective services or the police.

If you’re concerned for a child right now
To file reports about your own or someone else’s victimization

 

Resource categories:

Counseling and support resources for adult survivors of child sexual abuse
Especially for partners and allies of survivors
If you’re concerned for a child right now
To file reports about your own or someone else’s victimization
 

Counseling and support resources for adult survivors of child sexual abuse

  • Nationwide referrals for specialized counseling and support groups. Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) 1-800-656-4673 routes calls to local sex assault crisis centers for resources and referrals. www.rainn.org
  • The Survivors’ Manual offers an extensive online collection of articles, information and resources on healing and support.
  • 1 in 6 offers support, resources and information to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood move through different stages of recovery. Resources and support are also available for family and friends.
  • Male Survivor is a research, education and advocacy organization for male survivors. Can connect to local support groups 1-800-738-4181, www.malesurvivor.org.
  • Black Sexual Abuse Survivors has an online support group for black, adult males and females who were sexually abused as children, www.blacksurvivors.org.
  • The Wounded Healer Journal is an online resource with a variety of recovery resources available through their website, www.twhj.com.
  • Books about Healing for Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse http://childmolestationprevention.org/pages/resources.html#Adult_Survivors
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (use Caller ID).1-800-273-TALK (8255), Spanish available,www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Counseling referrals for sexual behavior concerns or online sexual behavior problems:

 

Especially for partners and allies of survivors

If you’re concerned for a child right now

To file reports about your own or someone else’s victimization

  • To read your state’s statute of limitations on reporting child sexual abuse. Child Welfare Information Gateway http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/state/
  • To file reports about a current situation, Child Help USA Child Abuse Hotline www.childhelpusa.org
  • To file reports about an adult’s sexual abuse as a child, please contact the non-emergency number for the police department closest to where the abuse originally took place.