What stops us from seeing abuse?

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It’s very disturbing to imagine that someone you know could be sexually harming a child. Without certain proof of abuse, it’s so much easier to dismiss such thoughts or to think you’re overreacting. You may also be worried about the possible consequences of taking action, especially if the concern involves someone you or your family depends on for financial, emotional or social support. One of the common thoughts parents have is: "My child would have told me if they were being abused and they haven't, so it can't be happening."

For those reasons, people often wait until after a child has been abused before they take action. Many people have lived through the discovery that someone close to them was abusing a child. Looking back, they wonder how they missed the signs. But when something is so difficult to think about, it’s only human to find ways of denying it to ourselves. Common misunderstandings about sexual abuse often contribute to that denial. When adults trust their gut feelings and speak up, they can prevent Child Sexual Abuse from happening.

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