Finding out that someone has been physically, emotionally or verbally abused can be disheartening and frustrating all at the same time. It sucks to discover that someone has the propensity to cause harm to another, especially when who is involved in the situation is a young individual. Can you imagine a child being beaten by his parents? Did you encounter a scenario where a nanny or baby sitter abuses a toddler? Have you heard in the news how adults can be brutal to some children, particularly those who are psychopaths? When not handled properly, all these things can cause stress and anxiety on your part. No matter how hard you try to let it go, you will still end up feeling sad for the abused victim. “Many people who suffer from sexual abuse or sexual assault can also suffer long-term effects from the abuse. These effects may include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), overwhelming anxiety, panic attacks, and being afraid of going outside or in places that remind the person of the abuse.” says John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
In this article, our primary focus would be on the proper ways on how an adult like you can comfort a child who has been abused by another adult. Before anything else, you have to understand that this task is quite complicated because the victim is more likely going to avoid you at all costs. This child may fear for his life or that of his loved ones, which is why he would make an effort to stay away from you. Instead of giving up directly, it is best to keep on trying in reaching out to the said person. Do not stop just because he says so.
Here are some of the other tips and tricks that you must always remember if you want to help or comfort an abused kid:
Offer A Lending Hand
The first or initial step that you must do is to inform the child involved that you are willing to provide assistance or support. Let him know that he can always call upon you whenever he needs help. According to Fiona Smith, “It may be a difficult issue to face, but it is much harder for the victims – especially those not receiving the help they need.” Keep in mind that this person is not going to say yes immediately to your offer, which is why it is crucial to be patient and understanding during the process. Do not insist on helping him to the point that he would run away from you for good. A better way of doing this is to merely inform him that you are by his side no matter what happens.
Be A Good Listener
The moment the abused individual finds solace in your company, he will start to open up about his problems and issues. “Start by having a discussion with your child about how important it is to trust one’s own inner voice, or conscience. Continue asking your child how they feel about certain experiences. This act will help your child learn that to look inside is an important aspect of life.” says Sharie Stines, PsyD. The ideal thing to do is to listen carefully to what he is going to share. Do not interrupt him when he is talking. Let him lead the conversation until he stops. By becoming a good listener, you are helping the other person to process his thoughts and emotions. As he talks about his frustrations and pains, he will start to understand his situation. Somehow, it can motivate him to find all possible ways to stop the cycle of violence. He would be inspired to stand up against the abuser and take the necessary steps to ensure that the abuse will never happen again.
Call The Authorities
Another way of comforting the child is to initiate the process of connecting with the proper government agencies who can look into the abuse that the said individual has suffered. Take note that there are several laws of the state that are intended to protect and uphold the rights of the children. No one is supposed to hamper on the rights of the children just because they are underprivileged. Do not hesitate to fast track the process, especially if you can see that the offender has become extremely dangerous.
Seek Professional Help
If you want to help an abused child overcome a traumatic experience, it is suggested to seek professional help from the right therapist. All you need to do is to find the best counselor or therapist in your local community who can assist the victim of the abuse. However, before doing this, it is best if you would talk to the child first about the consequences of attending therapy sessions. Remember that you can never compel him to try therapy if he is not comfortable in doing it. Learn how to respect his decision.
As an adult, you must ensure that all children around you live a happy and normal life. If something goes wrong, feel free to go over the items mentioned above.