Following a disclosure, reactions can vary greatly for non-offending parents and other protective adults. You may feel surprised by some of your thoughts and feelings and might find it difficult to share them with others. Below are some of the feelings that many parents and caring adults experience after receiving a disclosure of sexual abuse from a child.

Fear & Denial

Betrayal & Resentment

Sadness & Loss


What should I do next?

Upon hearing a disclosure, adults need an opportunity to share their feelings and reactions with a professional who understands child sexual abuse. Some adults may also need strong support and validation in order to effectively protect the abused child as well as find help for the person who is harming that child. This is all the more crucial if those around the adult don’t believe there is a problem in the first place. Resources that support the necessary changes to keep everybody safe are available in most communities.

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Helpful Articles
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