It Is Important To Tell

Sexual Abuse
2. Who to Tell About the Abuse


It Is Important To Tell

If you are being abused, you need to talk to someone. If the right people know what is happening to you, they can protect you from the abuser.

The decision whether to tell someone about abuse can be a difficult one. There are a lot of reasons to tell, but there are also reasons why the idea of telling someone about the abuse may seem frightening and complicated.

Some young people have said that they want to tell someone because:

  • They feel frightened being the only one who knows about the abuse.
  • They feel alone and very different because they have this secret.
  • They want someone to talk to.
  • They hope that with someone elses help, the abuser can be stopped.
  • They feel confused, and hiding this secret is hurting them.
  • They are afraid a younger sibling will also be abused.

Some young people have said that they dont want to tell about the abuse because:

  • They are afraid that no one will believe them.  
  • They have already told, and no one has helped them.
  • The abuser has told the young person that if they tell, terrible things will happen to them and to those they care about.  
  • They are afraid that they will be taken away from their family.
  • They believe that the abuse is their own fault.
  • They feel that their own sexual behavior is out of control.
  • They feel confused and guilty if the sexual touching felt good.