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Non-Offending Parents of Survivors No topics

First let me say, that I'm sorry that you're here in this forum category for parents of sexually abused children but you are not alone. In fact, twenty percent of children are sexually abused before their 18th birthday and today there are few resources available for parents. So I'm glad you found us! As a parent of survivors, I know how difficult it is from the moment of realization or disclosure until our children have walked through their healing process and found a renewed sense of safety and peace. And I know it can be a long journey.

We've created this space for parents and caregivers to connect with others who have walked this road before them and to lend a helping hand, a listening ear, a resource referral, or a word of encouragement for those who are struggling. We hope you will find a sense of belonging in these troubling times and make new friends with those who truly understand. I've always said it's a club we never wanted to belong to but thank God there's a club. So, welcome to our community and our club.

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The power of story is immeasurable. Every story of sexual abuse is a tragedy, no matter the circumstances and they should never be compared. In sharing our stories, we break the silence, we process our emotions, we create a connection with others, and we reconfirm that none of us are alone. Sharing your story is as much for the rest of us as it is for you. So, please take some time to get to know others through their stories and to share your story with all of us. We look forward to getting to know you and holding this safe space for you to process, grow, and heal.
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Non-offending parents are secondary victims of this crime of sexual abuse against their children. It's possible, in fact probable, that parents will experience their own trauma as they walk through this journey with their children. It's common for parents not to recognize their own trauma or to try to minimize it to honor their children's trauma. But recognizing and validating our own trauma is a precursor for real and sustainable healing for parents. This category is for parents and caregivers to share about their own pain, and suffering, and trauma, and learn how to practice good self-care throughout this journey.

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When a child is sexually abused by a biological parent, there is a deep sense of betrayal that goes above and beyond the betrayal felt in other types of sexual abuse cases. The situation often results in a custody battle in family court as well. This is because 80% of sexual abuse happens in a one-on-one situation and there is often not enough evidence for a criminal conviction. In such cases, the abuser keeps their parental rights and the protective parent must fight for the safety of their children. While sexual abuse cases have much in common, this is a unique element that separates cases of biological parent abuse from other types of sexual abuse cases. This category was created to give protective parents whose children were abused by a biological parent a place to process and find support, resources, validation, and encouragement.
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Sibling Abuse No topics

Over 30% of sexual abuse happens at the hands of another minor and we have seen an increase in families who have experienced the sexual abuse of a child by one of their other children. Sibling abuse is common and it creates a situation where parents are forced to navigate the needs of their abused child alongside the needs of their offending child. While there are similarities with other types of sexual abuse cases, sibling abuse cases are unique in their impact on all members of the immediate family and the question of whether safety, healing, and reconciliation will ever be possible again.
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Thirty to forty percent of child sexual abuse happens at the hands of a family member and unfortunately, allegations can be the catalyst for the break-up of the extended family. As protective parents stand by their children and vow to protect them, we would hope that other family members would do the same but unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. Some family members will choose to deny the allegations and support the alleged offender blaming the child or protective parents for breaking up the family. Possible legal action against the alleged offender can heighten the blame even further. These cases can even result in the victimized child and their immediate family being ostracized from the extended family, sometimes while the offender continues with life as usual. This is a place for parents who are faced with the complex dynamics of the extended family to share their struggles and get the support that their family may be unable or unwilling to provide.
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Fifty to fifty-five percent of child sexual abuse is by someone outside the family that the child and the family know and trust. Parents have in some way given these offenders permission to be with their kids and their trust has been violated. The good news is that parents can quickly and easily remove their children from harm's way in these cases because the offender has no rights. But these cases will typically be investigated by law enforcement and may result in criminal proceedings which can last a year or more, delaying the start of true healing for the victimized children and their families. This is a place to connect with others who have walked this path before you and receive the understanding, support, guidance, and encouragement you will likely need along the way.
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When parents send their kids to YSOs within their community, they have a reasonable expectation that they will be safe. But statistics indicate there is a notable risk. One study found that nearly 10% of students surveyed said they were sexually abused on a school campus and this statistic doesn't include sexual abuse that happens in other types of YSOs. Also, experts estimate that less than 3% of sexual predators will be detected on a criminal background check. So even if the leaders of a YSO follow the legal requirements for applicant screening, there is still a chance they could inadvertently hire an offender.

Parents of children who are abused in YSOs will not only need to support their children through their healing process and participate in potential criminal proceedings, they may also feel it's necessary to pursue civil litigation against the YSO if they believe the organization was negligent in their responsibility to protect or report. This forum category was created to allow parents in this situation to connect and support each other as they traverse the additional complexities of child sexual abuse in youth-serving organizations.
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Minors need their parents and other surrounding adults to protect them from sexual abuse and to report to the authorities in the unfortunate case that abuse does occur. But most parents are in shock when they find out their child has been abused and often don't know where to turn or what to do. And even after law enforcement and child protective services are involved, parents typically have no idea what to expect in the days, weeks, and months to come as forensic interviews, investigations, covert phone calls, criminal charges, court proceedings, plea bargains, trials, and the need for therapy for their children and themselves all unfold in a flurry of activity. We are providing this space for parents to learn what to do and what to expect from those who have walked this road before them and to find encouragement and hope in the process.
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When our sexually abused children become adults, they are in charge. They are in charge of their healing, they are in charge of their relationships, and they are in charge of deciding whether to pursue criminal or civil action against their offender if it wasn't taken when they were minors. It may be difficult for some parents to relinquish control because they just want to fix it, but although it may not feel good, your child taking control is a good thing. If there's one thing most survivors can agree on, it's that one of the biggest milestones in healing is when they took back their control and power of choice that was stolen by their perpetrators. But it's not easy for parents, especially if one of their choices is to sever their relationship with you. This forum category is for parents to learn about their adult survivor's needs, talk about how to meet them right where they're at, and support them in their healing journey even when it doesn't include you.
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