Discovering that your child has been sexually abused can literally snatch the air from your lungs and leave you in the fetal position gasping for your next breath as the tears fall profusely from your eyes. It is almost unfathomable that your child could have been violated in such a major way and you had no idea what was going on. The way you see the world changes forever; your perspective becomes filtered through the lenses of snatched innocence and an overwhelming sense of guilt. You question everything in your life including your parenting skills, your involvement in your child's life, and the people to whom you've granted access to your child.

But with all of these emotions running rampant within you, your child's well-being must be your priority. You must make every effort to ensure that the abuser is charged and punished for their crimes. You must seek counseling for your child to begin the process of mental and emotional healing. You should take your child to a medical doctor to ensure that any physical damage is addressed. You should also commit to emotionally supporting your child throughout their lifetime. And, with all of that said, there is yet one more thing that you can do.... commit to helping others.

Becoming an advocate for child sexual abuse prevention and supporting survivors (including the parents of survivors) are two important aspects of helping others and it will only cost you your time. There are free resources that you can tap into to learn more about child sexual abuse and the behavioral cues/grooming strategies of predators, so that you can become a committee of one to spread the word about awareness and prevention. You can seek out support groups to join in an effort to provide emotional support to those who have been affected by this unnecessary evil as well as to continue your own personal journey to healing.

The idea that we take our experiences and allow shame and guilt to send us into hiding is exactly what predators want. However, we must do the exact opposite. We must take a stand for our children – for all children. Even if our children aren't quite ready to publicly acknowledge their experience, we can still support others privately and even anonymously. The idea is simply to do something.....do something that will help us all fight against child sexual abuse. Together we must believe that our efforts will make a difference while we take the journey to healing together.