What do you say, and how can you help someone who has been sexually abused? Vanessa Marin provides a wealth of tips and ideas in this article. It features expert advice from a number of mental health professionals, including Wendy Maltz, author of The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse.
Wendy shares a list of suggestions for how to respond when someone first discloses their past abuse, such as “I’m sorry this happened to you,” “Thank you for sharing,” “You are not to blame for what happened to you,” and “I respect you for addressing this.”
Vanessa discusses the importance of listening well to a survivor, educating yourself about abuse, providing ongoing support, practicing self-care, and honoring the survivor’s recovery process.
This article was featured in the New York Times, Smarter Living Magazine, February 27, 2019