ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Talk to Your Parents about Sexual Assault

Updated on October 5, 2008

Talking to your parents regarding sexual assault, your own sexual assault, is a sensitive subject to say the least. Many times the parents will either do 1 or 2 things. Both of which are not very healthy.

  1. They will blame themselves for not being able to protect you.
  2. They will blame you for being in the wrong place, doing the wrong things.

Again, neither of these reactions are healthy. I find that parents come across as being blameful when they really are not meaning to be. This is a raw emotion and telling your parent that you have been raped exposes a nerve and fills them with great pain. In my opinion, it may not always be in your best interest to share this with a parent. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Will telling my parents change the fact that I was raped?
  2. Will telling my parents provide any comfort for me?
  3. Will telling my parents possibly build a barrier between us?

Let me change directions now. If you were raped, filed a police report, went to the ER and had a rape kit done and plan on pressing charges, then you need to tell your parents. Less than 1% of all rapes are ever reported. If you are that 1% I applaud you and I would say that it is crucial that you tell your folks. You will need the support of your family, friends and victim advocates. So here is how I would address it.

Call your local rape crisis center and speak with a victim advocate. This advocate will help you in every way possible; even helping you share this with your parents. Your advocate will probably go through a role playing scenario where the advocate is the parent and you can practice how you will disclose your story. Your advocate can even be with you when you decide to have this conversation.

Your parents are going to feel a little helpless. Let them know that they can best help you by supporting you, listening to you and letting you deal with this in your way. The advocate will even have resources for your parents because they too will need to heal. Tell your parents that you are sharing this with them because you love them and you need their strength right now.

Be patient with yourself and with your parents. This is a horrible crime that has been committed on you. The wounds are big and they remain open for a while. Remember though, you can be a survivor, you just have to be willing to ask for help.

You will definitely need to seek some type of counseling or support group. Utilize this when you are ready. Keep the lines of commuication open with your folks and use your victim advocate. They are trained and have a passion for helping victims.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Anonymous 

      3 years ago

      I have have been sexually assulted by 2 different people and it hurt me for weeks I was in pain emotionally and phisically. I'm never going to tell my parents because I don't know how they'll react

    • profile image

      Yungvctum 

      7 years ago

      Why doe the victim have to be a she? I was sexually abused from the time I was 7 to 10. I never told my parents due to threats from the abuser. I recently have been dreaming of this and can not get it out of my head. I had supressed it for 33years and now for some reason it has come creeping back. I don't know what to do. Do I tell my parents at this time or just tell a therapist and leave it at that?

      The only person I have told is my wife and the only reason I had to tell her is because I was talking out loud during a dream one night.

    • msigler4 profile imageAUTHOR

      msigler4 

      10 years ago from Huntington, WV

      Thank you for the comments. I am glad that you have posted them and corrected some of the incorrect stats. My statistics were taken from our local rape crisis center and I apologize for making them appear to be a blanket stat. Thank you for providing the information regarding RAINN. They are a wonderful organization that helps so many.

      I would like to clarify my statement regarding not needing to inform the parents. In my situation, my assault happened over 17 years ago and sharing this information with my parents would, again in my personal situation, do more harm. My hub was written with the best intentions and never did I want to portray that a victim is ever responsible for the assault.

      I think that if it has been a number of years since the assault that the victim should take all of that into consideration. Every victim should seek out professional support as I did a few years ago. I apologize if this hub came across in a manner I did not intend. Thank you again for clarification and for adding the information regarding RAINN. I strongly urge the young lady that requested this information contact RAINN. You can call them or you can even chat on-line with a trained victim advocate.

    • profile image

      Toni Zimmer, MSW 

      10 years ago

      I must say I am also concerned about the advice you provided. I think it is incorect to say that many parents will respond in 1 of the 2 ways you listed. Some will. Others will become angry with the "perpetrator", while some will be very supportive after a variety of reactions.

      Also, your data regarding the number of unreported assaults is very incorrect. The number is omewhere between 40 and 50 percent. This can be supported by the website: RAINN.org.

      It is important that we and the victim understand that she is not responsible. She should seek support. Maddie Ruud did a great job of providing resources in the previous comment.

      To the woman who wrote the original question...please get help and make sure it is from a professional. There are so many resources available to you and you are worth it. By getting help, you can learn to cope with what has happened and keep the perpetrator from hurting someone else.

      It is important to recognize that this is a victim who needs support.

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 

      10 years ago from Oakland, CA

      I respectfully disagree with some of what you've said here, and I even think this hub might be harmful to some victims of sexual assault.

      Whether or not you filed a report, etc, you still need support from your family and friends. When you've been assaulted, you should not be worrying about protecting others. While anyone would fear the things you've mentioned above (judgement, criticism, embarrassment, creating distance), giving into that fear doesn't help anything. Telling your family about your assault can be a way to reclaim some of the power that was taken from you, and most parents will only be genuinely concerned. If you fear their reaction, you can involve a counselor as mediator (either your own personal therapist, or an advocate from a local crisis center). You can even ask them not to respond to you right away, that you just wanted them to know, and provide them with the phone number for the RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) hotline, where they can speak with a trained operator that can help them deal with the shock and figure out how to better speak to you about it.

      For victims and families/friends of victims, that hotline number is: 1-800-656-HOPE. There is also an online chat hotline available at http://apps.rainn.org/ohl-bridge/

    • msigler4 profile imageAUTHOR

      msigler4 

      10 years ago from Huntington, WV

      Yes it is finished. That was a flook or something. Thanks for letting me know.

    • KT pdx profile image

      KT pdx 

      10 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

      Good tips, but is this hub finished? It leaves off with the word "Be".

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)