After disclosure, the child victim may recant 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.

The family 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 and confused

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.     


Social Media