After Your Visit

  • Return to a normal routine as soon as possible.

  • Find help for yourself. You don't have to handle everything alone.  

  • See that your child receives therapy as soon as possible. Trying to sweep feelings under the rug usually causes more problems because they don’t just go away.

  • Be careful not to question your child about the abuse. If you do, you can jeopardize the criminal case against your child’s abuser. If your child wants to talk about it, be supportive, but do not ask probing questions.

  • Remember to give your other children attention.

  • Never coach or advise your child on how to act or what to say to interviewers, investigators, or during courtroom proceedings. This could seriously damage the criminal case against your child’s abuser.

  • Teach your child the rules of personal safety. Explain what to do if someone tries to touch your child in a way that makes him or her feel scared, unsafe, or uncomfortable.

  • Avoid the suspect yourself, and keep your child away from the person suspected of the abuse. This is to protect you, your child, and that person.

  • Avoid discussing the case with other victims or their families.

  • You may be referred to a medical exam, counseling services or additional resources. Our Family Advocate is available to assist with these referrals and answer any questions you may have.  

  • Your child might need special measures to provide a sense of physical security. Stay close, and assure your child you will keep him or her safe.

MANAGING YOUR EMOTIONS

You may be feeling one or more of the emotions listed below. It's OK and NORMAL. Take the time to identify your emotions and seek help for yourself if you need to. In order to best support your child, you need to take care of your mental health as well. 

Denial:  Your first reaction may be to not believe that the abuse or the possibility of abuse happened. Caregivers often experience denial because it is too overwhelming to accept that the abuse occurred.

 

Anger: You may feel angry at yourself for not protecting your child. You may also feel angry because you knew the alleged offender and did not foresee the harm. Some parents are angry at their child for being abused.

 

Helplessness: Everything in your life is feeling like it is out of control. You do not know who to tell, or talk to about what happened. You feel overwhelmed with the ‘System”

 

Shock, numbness: You may feel numb and in shock and unable to feel anything right now.

 

Mixed and torn feelings: If the offended is a family member  many difficulties may arise. You may feel torn between your feelings of love and loyalty both towards the offender and the victim.

 

Guilt, self-blame: You may feel that the abuse was your fault, but the offender is responsible for the abuse, not you. The best thing you can do now is to support your child.

 

Hurt and betrayal: It is normal to feel hurt from the loss of your child’s innocence. You also may have lost a spouse or partner if that person was the alleged offender. You may have even lost some friends. It is important to take time to grieve these losses.

Contact us if you are in need of assistance locating mental health services. If you have an emergent crisis call the Central Michigan Community Mental Health Crisis Hotline or 911.  

2479 Rosewood Dr North Dr Suite B Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

989-317-8787

©2020 by Isabella County Child Advocacy Center.