Telling Your Parents That You Were Sexually Abused
It may seem impossible, but it is vitally important that you sit down with your parents as soon as possible to tell them about the sexual abuse you have suffered and begin to seek their help in your healing process. If the sexual abuser is one of your parents, tell your youth leader or other Christian adult who will give you guidance.
Here are several steps that will help you prepare for and carry out such a meeting:
- Decide if you want someone else to go with you. Perhaps you would feel more confident about the meeting with your parents if someone went with you.
- Schedule a time to meet at their earliest convenience. Plan to talk to your parents or youth leader as soon as possible. Find a time and place for your meeting that will be free from interruptions and distractions. You might say to your parents, "I have something important I want to discuss with you. When could we sit down and talk?"
- Be straightforward. Get right to the point. Either you or the trusted person who is with you should state clearly to your parents or youth leader that you are the victim of sexual abuse. Beating around the bush will only make your disclosure more painful for everyone.
- Ask for their help. Express and explain your current thoughts about the healing process. Invite their counsel and prayers as you decide whether to seek Christian counseling. If the person who abused you is still alive, ask your parents or youth leader to help you report the abuse to the proper authorities to make sure the person will not abuse others.
- Close with prayer. If your parents are Christians, ask them to join you in a time of prayer. Together ask God for His direction and help in the coming months as you begin to heal from the pain of your experience of sexual abuse.
As you convey respect for your parents' feelings and a willingness to listen to their concerns and suggestions, you increase the possibility that they will become your helpful supporters in the months ahead. Knowing that your dearest loved ones are on your side will help lift some of the emotional burden from your shoulders.