For Children and Adults Who Have Been Abused
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
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.
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.
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- Recognizing Warning Signs
- Definitions of Child Sexual Abuse
- How Abuse Happens
- Understanding Sexual Behavior in Kids
- Warning Signs in Adults and Children
- Warning Signs of Abuse in Children (Behavioral and Physical)
- Signs an Adult May be At-Risk to Harm a Child
- Behaviors to Watch Out for When Adults are with Children
- How Can I Tell if My Child Has Been Sexually Abused?
- Warning Signs a Young Person May Be a Target of Online Sexual Abuse
- Warning Signs of Someone's Dangerous or Illegal Online Activity
- Prevention and Safety
- Keys to Preventing Sexual Abuse of Children
- Creating a Plan for Safety
- Considering Filing Reports
- Talking About It
- Finding the Courage to Speak Up
- Speaking to Someone with a Sexual Behavior Problem
- When a Child Tells About Sexual Abuse
- How Should I Respond to the Child?
- What Should I Do after a Child Tells?
- How Can I Better Understand What My Child is Going Through?
- Possible Reactions of Non-Offending Parents and Caring Adults
- Is the Child Telling Me the Truth?
- What Might the Person Who Has Offended Be Thinking or Feeling after a Disclosure?
- Recovery and Therapy
- For Children and Adults Who Have Been Abused
- For Those At-Risk to Abuse Others or Who Have Offended
- For Parents and Caregivers
- Reporting and Legal Issues
- Filing Reports
- Child Protective Services and Police
- Legal Issues