, the child victim
and say the sexual abuse
did not really occur. Sometimes this is due to the fear
the child feels as a result of the threats
of the offender
Sometimes this happens because the child does not feel believed. Sometimes the child sees what is happening and knows that disclosure
of the sexual abuse will result in changes she does not want to be responsible
for. Examples of these consequences
are: the perpetrator going to jail, loss of financial support for the family, or her brother having to leave the house. Whatever the fear, it is greater than the desire to continue talking about the abuse.
may also want to suppress the disclosure. Family members
may be afraid of public attention or feel shame that it happened in their family. The offender may put tremendous pressure on the family not to go forward with the legal process
. The child feels guilty
. The family is in shock
. The mother feels angry
If the child does not participate in the investigation
, no legal consequence will usually result to the offender. The problem, of course, is that even though the child is protected from the legal and court
process, the offender is able to go out and find another victim.
The whole family needs support
during this process in order to get through whatever is required. The victim needs to feel heard and supported
. The offender needs to receive consequences. The mother needs a support system to assist her as she negotiates the legal processes. Siblings
need to be included in family conversations and feel loved and supported.