Support a Survivor

Support a survivorSupport a Survivor

Child abuse has been acknowledged now for some years. The victims of abuse have been supported by society and have begun to deal with the pain and emotion that has been bottled up inside since their rocky childhood.  In the midst of this healing there has been one group that has been overlooked – the friends, family, partners and loved ones of the survivors. (For the purpose of this section partners are those who are in intimate relationships with survivors i.e. lovers, husbands, wives, boyfriends, and girlfriends.) If you are supporting a survivor of child abuse then the chances are you are dealing with the effects of abuse. Survivors often have difficulties with trust, sexual intimacy, commitment and much, much more. You will also be directly effected by these problems and issues too.

This section is intended to provide you with help and information about ways in which you can help the survivor but also help yourself. There are numerous books on the subject which you can read but I strongly recommend that you talk to a counsellor and/or join a support group as well. Our forums have specific sections for the supporters of survivors. If you are just starting to find out about child abuse and are looking for basic information then we thoroughly recommend that you explore the whole website and then come back to this section armed with the knowledge that you have just found. If you have been helping the survivor for some time now and just want to find support, information and clarification then you’re at the right place.

41 Responses to Support a Survivor

  1. jesse chase says:

    My ex girlfriend of two years has gone through a very traumatic year and has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. She has realized today that she was raped by her schizophrenic brother as a child. She is hysterical and calling me saying she cannot control her nymphomania now. She says she’s at a hospital and can’t trust her family anymore, abusive father, helpless mother. She wanted to marry me, I want to see her and help her but I’m afraid of feeling like I would be abusing her vulnerability. Plz help. This has been goin on for over a month now since she attempted suicide.

    • HAVOCA says:

      Thanks for leaving a comment. I’m sorry you’ve found yourself in this situation and I feel for your ex-gf.

      I’m not sure we can be much help but if you’d like to email me privately perhaps we can have a discussion and see if there is anything we can do to provide support.

      Please use our contact form and put FAO JAMIE in the title.

    • Jajuan Valentin says:

      Hi Jesse, My name is Jajuan. I am male and I am a victim of physical and sexual abuse. I hope that you were able to support your fiancee. Hopefully she is your wife now. After my sexual abuse, I find that I need sex a lot, too. Don’t be afraid that you will be taking advantage of your wife’s nymphomania. She needs you help, and the fact that you care about her makes all the difference. Support her sexually. I don’t mean to sound lude or disrespectful, but the truth is she needs you to be there for her sexually for as much as she needs it. Don’t deny her sexually. Don’t make her feel like going to another man. That will start the abuse all over again. Only this time it will be her willing the abuse from someone that won’t necessarily care about her. Be her knight in shining armor. Rescue her every time she needs to be. Really man, be there for her.

  2. stan says:

    In the 5 years I witness a madman abusing his children and wife and this was his second marriage and kids he has more kids out there that were abused too

  3. Charlie Madden says:

    My wife was sexually abused for most of her childhood. We’ve been married for over thirty years and her resultant suppressed rage has put our relationship in jeopardy.

    • Egret says:

      Different situation for me with a similar result. I believe that I am the transference target for my [foster] daughter’s suppressed rage and this is the source of deterioration in our relationship. My sympathies and empathy Charlie.

  4. Mark Phillips aka Country Mark says:

    As a Thriver & Survivor of many childhood abuses – I wanna be a beacon of light to those without hope for a brighter tomorrow. To keep it short and simple – I’ll say this… You and only you can stand in the way of your peace & genuine happiness. Never let anyone or any circumstance manipulate your God given reason for being here. You have a purpose in God’s eyes, after all that is why you’re her to begin with. Seek your destiny and pursue your journey by finding forgiveness, so that you can be free’d from the bondages of unforgiveness. Remember… God can only forgive those who choose to forgive !

    • HAVOCA says:

      Thanks for your comment Mark. I think many survivors might disagree with you, not only on the religious aspect but also on ‘forgiveness‘. Of course forgiveness can mean different things to different people but the essence of what you say may help some. I find the topic of religion and faith an interesting one and if it works for you then thats fantastic but bear in mind others may find religion completely irrelevant in their journey (and thats fine too)

  5. Barbara Abney says:

    I want to volunteer my time at being a friend to someone who needs support. I myself am a survivor of past sexual abuse. I am 51 years old and a teacher in Volusia County formally a substitute teacher for Seminole County. I am a female

    • HAVOCA says:

      May I suggest you join our forums and offer your support that way? You can find our forums here

    • Thembi says:

      Pls b my friend,was abused n need help

    • Gerardene McNamara says:

      My partner was abused by his two brothers in law as a young boy and it only came out a few years ago he attempted suicide on a few occasions and had to have counselling and be admitted for treatment last year as well he is doing ok now but he really needs to report his abusers to the authorities but can’t seem to do it I know from the way he talks he wants to do it and needs to do it but both his sisters still live with these men the family don’t have anything to do with them but they should be reported what can I do to help please

      • HAVOCA says:

        I’m guessing by your email that you reside in the UK. If so, I strongly recommend you seek professional help if you intend to seek legal support. The best place to start would be the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers. We refer survivors there all the time and theyve had great success in finding victims the right level of help and proving invaluable advice.

        Of course there are many other ways you can help by following the simple steps in this section. Above all, be patient, kind, believing and open to listening. Don’t try to find solutions when in fact the victim needs to go at their own pace. And finally, remember dealing with this will have an effect on you too, so don’t neglect your own well being.

        You may find our survivor forums helpful as you try to navigate through this journey.

    • Chacho says:

      You watched for 5 years and did nothing. Same situation for me except being on the receiving end. All my screams for help, not one adult called the police including my teachers. Everyone claimed me to be an out of control child, well when you’re beat so severely that all the pounding in the head, punches into my kidneys, slaps and put torture all of my life till I found a husband that took me out of the home. I was safe for 12 yrs. being married to a cop and as soon a divorced him, I got more abused by my elder make sibling. A life of pure hell that finally 5 years ago I called the retired teacher who humiliated me, told her she did absolutely nothing. Now today my bladder is gone, kidney disease, Fibromyalgia w/ a host of auto immune diseases because nobody believed me as I was told I deserved it while my parents friends encouraged a 13 yr.. old twice my size was beating us daily, slamming heads into nails, broke down bedroom doors 4 times, endless hell for majority of my life only for my son to learn that mommy was so bad she lies and nobody ever did anything wrong to her. And to think of all of you out there who couldn’t even pick up the damn phone 911 is all you needed to dial.

    • Kona Kanai says:

      Barbara Abney, would love to have support from a fellow colleague on this topic. Roughly the same age and a woman. I became a teacher to make sure today’s kids aren’t going to school neglected like I was and without bruises all over like I had as a child. My e-mail is, hope to here from you soon. God Bless You!

    • keeley says:

      hi, maybe you could help my partner who is struggling with nightmares over his childhood abuse. he’s an amazing man but his nightmares and tears won’t stop. he wants to read child abuse books to try and find a way to deal with his abuse but I think talking to a thrive and survivor would be more affective. I am a survivor of childhood and adult hood sexual abuse but my way of coping and moving on doesn’t seem to suit him x

  6. Asena says:

    Hi there,

    I have two childhood abuse survivors in my life, my sister and my boyfriend. My sister has not gotten help since her teenage years while my boyfriend is on medications for bipolar, has ptsd, and goes to counseling. This morning my sister and I had an argument which ended up in her throwing the flowers I bought her in my direction. My boyfriend got in front of her and she shoved him, which in return he punched her. We had to come between them to break them up. I am at a loss to what to do as someone who has never experienced childhood trauma. IA have a 6 year old child that lives with me and my boyfriend, my sister is my neighbor. My boyfriend left the house to stay at his parents’, my sister is on her side. I just don’t know how I should handle the situation, what resources I can use, who I should reach out to, and if I should ask my boyfriend to move out permanently. I reside in the US, in NH. Please help guide me.

  7. katie says:

    after 12 years together, my husband walked out 2 weeks ago for no apparent reason… hes just admitted that he was abused aged 10 and 11 at Christian summer camps for children which has become relevent again due to the media reporting on the high profile historic abuse cases in the pastcouple of years.
    He is seeking councelling now, and I am seeking everything in my power to support him and rebuild our life. What can i do to support him best?

    • HAVOCA says:

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds like you are doing the right thing by him. Support, patience and acceptance. Don’t rush him, don’t try to fix him and just offer unconditional support. Use this whole section and utilise the different sections on the righthand index. You might like to start here first ‘a dozen ways to help

  8. Dbennett says:

    My fiancee was horribly abused by her mother, she has flash backs, good and bad days, trouble with trust and love, etc… Even though she was abused emotionally, physically, and even sexually, she does seem to manage for the most part. It took a while for her to warm up to me and trust me as much as she does. With all of the horrible things that happened to her, I’ve tried to be as supportive as I can to her. I was wondering if there is any advice I could have as the significant other of an abuse/rape survivor?

    • HAVOCA says:

      It sounds to me like you are doing a pretty good job already! Be patient, listen, go at her pace and don’t ‘push’ recovery. These pages look at lots of different aspects of supporting; what to do, say and likewise, what not to do or say. Have a read through all these pages and see what resonates with your situation.

  9. Toni Melchione says:

    My granddaughter, age 16, is a survivor. She was molested by her 12 year old stepbrother when she was 4. She received counseling at the time. She has also been diagnosed as bi polar but has been doing very well on medication. The problem that has caused a terrible rift in our family is that her uncle has decided that he doesn’t want her around his twin 4 year old girls (unless he’s there) because he is afraid she is going to molest them. Is there any way past this dilemma?

  10. Gretchen says:

    My daughter’s ex-boyfriend, age 20, was emotionally and physically abused by his step-father. His mom just stands by and let’s her husband treat her son terribly. They recently let him know that he must be out of the house by the end of the year. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have many life skills because he’s been told for so many years that he’s inadequate with everything. He acts immaturely because his parents never taught him anything. He needs help to get through this difficult transition. I’m trying to be supportive but he shuts down when I try to talk to him. Are there any resources, services or groups that could help him? Thanks!

  11. nick reynolds says:

    look this is my very first time checking this site out I have been battling wit depression hiding it from those I love even though I have told lots of people about it it happened at age 13 but at age 5 my parents divorced but the real torture happened at age 13 I got abused in the most violent ways by my moms bf at the time she denied all of it she did nothing I lashed out and ended up going to mental hospitals getting an exorcism done on me being doped on meds 7 a day being a human guinne pig then being sent back to my dads where I got neglected threw out my teen years dealing wit alcoholic dad now 30 I was married now widowed I lost my mom 9 years ago found out she blamed her self for everything I did and happened to me now im finally ready to leave it alone and let it go I am going to church I am trying to get right wit god but I always have that question WHY DIDNT GOD STOP ALL OF IT WHY DID HE LET ALL THAT STUFF HAPPEN TO ME so I am asking for answers and what I should do

  12. Andrea Bebbington says:

    I have reached 50 years in October and I want to somehow help others with what I have learned as a Survivor of sexual abuse and neglect.I have thrived but that does mean I don’t continually suffer. I feel permanently disabled in some regards from the abuse.I think In Australia where I live the understanding of treating Trauma has a longway to go.I have spent 30 years on and off in Counselling.But for most of those years I was completely dissociated from the knowledge of my sexual abuse. I had emotional responses to relationships and social situations that I didn’t understand. My biggest breakthrough was getting help from a Psycha analyst who had studied under Bessel Van Der Kolk in America. I recommend you read The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel. He has done some ground breaking research into Trauma and how our bodies and Minds react.
    I still wait for the day That I can get my abuser convicted…he slipped through the police net when I reported him.And most of my family have run away from me …the so called Victim.
    So much to say I realise but will do so again soon if anyone interested in my story

    • Angie says:

      Hi, I too have been living with abuse for a long time: I am 47 and your story interests me because we are similar in age. I was abused by a ‘friend of the family’. I have always tortured myself for not telling my family for keeping his secrets, but then in your case it didn’t seem to help. I have had a long period of feeling ok, feeling as though I was over it, but it has just hit me again with horrendous flashbacks. I feel just like that child again. I’m wearing an elastic band on my wrist – the internet suggests ‘pinging it’ when I have a flashback…. I’ll give anything a try. I am beginning to thing I’ll never get over it and move on. It’s interesting you describe yourself as a thrives- I’m still in victim mode I think.

  13. Matt says:

    My fiance was abused as a child. I want to know if there there is a support group? And any other suggestions you may have. Thk you.

  14. Egret says:

    I have a situation where, 25 years ago, I brought a young woman into my home. She had been abused by her step father for several years and at one point her mother threatened to put her in foster care. When she told all of this to me I immediately decided to have her come live with me. Arranged for a foster home license, etc. Took a strong parental role in her life, considering her my daughter.

    She is 40 now, married to a great guy, three kids. There have been big challenges in my relationship with her. I realize now that my own neediness, perhaps co-dependency, has caused me to push and expect the sort of mother-daughter relationship I enjoy with my own mom. I feel as if I have become the focus for transference of her unconscious, unresolved anger. I want to act out of compassion for both of us … seems I ought to stay away from her for awhile. I am not sure whether it would be at all helpful for me to suggest she needs therapy or to share any of the resources I have found on transference, long-term impact of childhood sexual abuse, etc. I am seeking a support group in my area for me.

    any comments, advice, insights appreciated.

  15. Laurie Tressler says:

    Not sure why you state that survivors have been supported by society. That’s a big generalization to make. It’s not every survivor’s experience at all. Not mine. If society were supportive, I probably wouldn’t be on this site.
    Though, I am grateful that this site exists.

    • HAVOCA says:

      Generally (notwithstanding exceptions to every rule) we have found that when survivors come forward for help society does now have the answers. I’m sorry society hasnt been supportive for you, if you can contact us and tell us how society hasnt supported you, we might be able to point you in a better direction. Thanks for the feedback.

  16. Sherine says:

    My husband seems always angry and depressed .. he shouts all the time on actions he doesnt like either from myself or from my children.. he is always suspicious about people that they want to harm him .. he doesnt trust anyone including myself..
    on the other hand he says he loves me and the children very much .. at times he is the perfect husband and father ..however it doesnt last .. he just turns into a wild beast whenever something happens he doesnt like..he keeps blaming everyone and everything for his problems which are mostly money problems
    He doesnt like his mum who died recently accusing her of bad treatment and that she deprived him of lots of things including going to a good university and her heritage .. he had an alcohol problem and he recently did a car accident while he was drunk..

    His father died when he was 1 year old.. His mom was married twice after his father , he was neglected and violently treated from his mum and brothers. He was kidnapped when he was one by his grandparents..

    I really need to know a way to treat him as he lashes out anger for no reason or for silly mistakes.. and now children are affected as they love him but they dont know why hes doing this , always shouting and nothing is comforting him..


  17. Joe Lamange says:

    How can I provide security for people going through a trauma Lomé going to court so they feel safe or being there when they feel unsafe I have a small group of people that would love to help provide people a safe feeling and confidence to get through this

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