What to do, if? – Red Cap Must Cry

What to do, if?

What are the forms of sexualized violence? By what signs can I recognize it?

It is important to understand that sexualized violence is not only about sexual intercourse without your consent, but also about coercion, manipulation, touching and sextortion.

Image
Why do children keep silent about sexualiized violence that has happened to them?

Here are the key points why the child does not talk about what happened: feelings associated with the event, manipulation by the aggressor, ignorance.

Image
How can I protect myself from sexualized violence?

Increasing knowledge about sexual education and safety, forms of sexualized violence, warning signs and consequences can be key goals here. The next step is to develop the ability to defend your boundaries and communicate feelings, the skill of refusing if you disagree with something, as well as finding a significant adult who can answer your questions and support.

Image
How to learn to protect your boundaries?

Take time to introspect and define your physical, emotional, and psychological boundaries. Learn self-confidence techniques, such as using “I-messages” to express your opinion in the first person. Build self-esteem and self-confidence and remember that you are valuable only because you are. 

Image
What could be the consequences of sexualized violence for a child?

The following main areas of impact can be identified: problems with the regulation of emotions and feelings, instability or unpredictability in building relationships with other people, damage to the Self-image, behavioral problems.

Image
How else can I understand that the child has experienced sexualized violence?

From the general criteria, the following ones can be added: increased emotionality or vice versa restraint, detachment and secrecy, nightmares, enuresis not related to a medical problem, decline in school performance, fear of touch and crying for no reason, excessive, age-inappropriate, preoccupation with topics related to sex, concentration on the genitals.

Image
How to support a friend who has become a victim of sexualized violence?

Pay attention to their feelings, do not judge and refrain from giving advice unless they ask. The main thing is to let them know that they can rely on your support. Remember that each person processes traumatic events differently and at their own pace. Offer to seek professional help or tell an adult they trust about the incident.

Image
If I experienced an episode of sexualized violence from a family member? What to do?

First, keep yourself safe and think about which adult you could turn to? Who do you trust? Any of relatives or teachers? You can state what happened to you and not keep it a “secret”, even if the abuser asked you to, manipulating that it would only get worse. You can also call the helpline or contact social services. This step, although the most difficult, is worth it in order to stop the violence.

Image
What should I do if my child told me about an episode of sexualized violence?

First and foremost, create a safe emotional and physical space for the child. Second, it is important to find out as much information about what has happened as possible, don’t push the child in order to retrieve the information, third talk about the next steps you are going to take – it will help to reduce anxiety and help to build resilience both in the child and you.

Image
I noticed bruises on my child's thighs, closer to the genitals. What's the right way to ask what happened?

Choose a familiar comfortable place, ask a direct but attentive question, “I would like to talk to you, do you have time? I noticed bruises on your body, can you tell me what happened? I’m here to help and support you.” Listen to the child carefully and without judgment, indicate that you believe them. The next step is contact with doctors and law enforcement agencies, psychologists.

Image
I think that time will pass and I will forget about this unpleasant episode, I don’t want to tell anyone and spoil the mood ...

Instead of trying to forget, give yourself permission and time to acknowledge your emotions and experiences, the very fact of violence. Realize that your well-being and experiences are important, even if the offender tries to say otherwise. Don’t be afraid to ask for support. Remember that you are not alone in this process and there are people who are ready to support you.

Image
What is psychological assistance in dealing with the consequences of sexualized violence?

Psychological assistance in dealing with the consequences of sexualized violence is a process that helps a person to cope with traumatic experiences, express feelings and recover. One of the main goals is to return a sense of self-importance and the integrity of the picture of the world, the body and psychological image of oneself.

Image
Is it normal to discuss the topic of sex with a child and how?

Yes, it is necessary and important to talk about sexuality and and safity. This should not be one conversation, but rather a series of conversations according to the age and maturity of the child. The main purpose of the conversations is sexual education, explaining the importance of respecting boundaries and the concept of full consent in sex, the right to say “no”.

Image
How can I keep my child safe from sexualized harassment?

The best thing that can be done now is to develop relationships and deepen trust between you, to minimize risks through informing about forms of sexualized violence, and responding to them.

Image

Remember, as hard as it is, help is there

Cup