Healing from Child Abuse

Healing is a process and everyone’s journey of discovery, disclosure and recovery from trauma is different. While some children may recognize abuse when it happened, others may realize only much later. Maybe you came to the realization that a child that you know is being groomed or potentially abused. Or maybe a child, or adult, approaches you to share information about their abuse.

Some ways to support victims of child abuse include the following:

Ensure their safety. You must take action to keep the child safe. An adult’s reputation, job or society’s opinions do not matter in light of a child’s safekeeping. Ensure that the child does not need to interact with or meet the abuser again.

Assure them they are safe. Children who have been abused experience fear. When the child is no longer in danger, help them know that the abuser will no longer be able to hurt them. Teach them ways to get help whenever they are feeling unsafe or uncomfortable.

Seek professional help. Talking about abuse may help some people to heal from their trauma while others may require counseling and professional support. 

Assess danger to other children. Keep in mind that the abuser may likely be abusing other children. Consider where they may have contact with children and notify authorities and others who may need to know. For example, if a teacher has abused one child, the school must be informed immediately.

Build their self-worth. You can help children feel that they are valued and accepted. Provide them with success-oriented tasks to foster their sense of competency and honor their uniqueness to help them realize their potential and self-worth.

Learn more about supporting victims in the Recognizing and Preventing Child Abuse online training course: 

for large organizations (>100 employees and volunteers)
for small organizations (<100 employees and volunteers)
for individuals