Post-Disclosure Process

The disclosure of the sexual abuse of a child initiates a crisis for mothers. For mothers who suspected that something was wrong, the point of disclosure is a relief because they now know and can take protective action. If the disclosure is unexpected, shock is the initial response, and emotional reactions resemble those of any other traumatic event. 

After the disclosure of the sexual abuse of a child, mothers need:

It will be difficult for the mother to absorb the information, accept the reality,and process through her emotions. She may experience numbness, denial, disbelief, anger, hurt, fearguilt and shame, isolation, and confusion. She will need to show her child that she believes him, supports him, and will take action to protect him. She will need to place her needs second to those of the child. If the offender is her partner, the pain and ambivalence  will complicate the post-disclosure process and decision-making.   


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