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Know a survivor?
Childhood trauma damages families and relationships. Survivors often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, isolation, anxiety and depression. Some use damaging coping mechanisms such as substance misuse and self-harming.
Abuse happens in many different ways, but behind every type of abuse is a misuse and imbalance of power and control.
5 ways that you can help right now
1. Take care of yourself
You cannot support someone if you are not supporting yourself first.
2. Educate yourself
The more knowledge you have about the impact of abuse, the better you will understand the survivor’s experiences, triggers and reactions that currently may feel bewildering to you. Our booklets on this website are a first step to learn more.
Ask the survivor what they need. Don’t assume that you know what’s best for them and push them in that direction. Nobody likes to feel controlled or patronised, but survivors will feel extremely sensitive to any form of control.
4. Be considerate
Consider that you may not be the best person to support the survivor around the issue of abuse. Someone with less personal involvement – typically a counsellor – will be in a better position to assist and empower the survivor.
5. No excuse for bad behaviour
Remember that having experienced childhood abuse is not an excuse for bad behaviour. If you are in a close relationship with a survivor who is acting out his pain in a way that is harmful to you, do not tolerate it.