Surviving

How to Find Support for Child Abuse Survivors

How to Find Support | Hopeful Panda

Childhood abuse can have long-lasting effects on a person’s well-being. Learning how to find support – physically, emotionally, financially, and legally – is not just incredibly helpful for healing, but essential for living a better life.

I strive to provide support and inspire survivors to begin healing. But of course, a blog can only do so much. So it’s important to also be able to find other forms of support and resources for your healing journey.

This post will explore how you can find support as a child abuse survivor, whether it’s physical, emotional, financial, or legal.

Please note that most of the resources provided here are available specifically to the U.S. However, an internet search for resources or assistance in your area may be helpful.

It can also be helpful to reach out to support groups or online forums of your country or town for advice, suggestions, or recommendations on where and how you can get the form of support you’re looking for.

Why is Support Important?

So support of any kind is incredibly valuable and beneficial. It’s not an understatement when I say that it is vital for healing from childhood abuse.

I am only where I am because of the support I’ve received throughout the years. And as I continue healing, I continue to utilize whatever support I have and can get.

Support comes in many various forms and they are all important for our well-being and healing.

For instance, you likely struggle with feelings of shame, self-blame, and self-doubt. So having emotional support, whether from friends, a therapist, or online strangers, can be validating and reassuring.

And oftentimes, when talking about support, people think of emotional support. But most people who experienced childhood abuse can use physical, financial, and legal support as well.

For instance, having a home, nutritious food, healthcare, a job, and everything else that keeps you healthy and well usually requires support of some kind, whether it’s assistance from people you know, the government, or non-profit organizations.

Of course, this isn’t to say that you can’t achieve all of this by yourself. You absolutely can! But it’s tough. Also, there is absolutely nothing wrong with reaching out for help and accepting help if it can make things easier for you.

So while you can technically do this all on your own, remember that healing and struggling with life isn’t something you have to do alone. If there is something that can make it easier, I think you should definitely take advantage of it.

How to Find Support

Therapeutic Approaches

Unsurprisingly, the most recommended way of seeking support is to seek professional help.

Although I am no longer in therapy, I must admit that therapy have taught me many invaluable things and provided me the emotional support and advice I needed to begin healing.

A certified therapist can provide a safe space for you to express your feelings, process your experiences, and develop healthy coping skills.

The best thing about seeking help from a professional is that they’re trained. And they’re able to tailor the therapeutic experience based on your unique experiences, circumstances, needs, and preferences.

Here are various therapeutic approaches you can consider when seeking a therapist. Please note that different people may respond to various approaches differently.

  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) focuses on helping you identify and change negative thought patterns associated with trauma.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy helps you process traumatic memories and associated emotions through guided eye movements.
  • Art Therapy such as painting, drawing, or writing uses creative expression to help you explore your emotions and process trauma.

You can also learn more about various alternatives to traditional talk therapy and other complementary methods and resources.

Support Groups

Support groups provide a safe and supportive environment where you can share your experiences, express your emotions, and connect with others who have had similar experiences.

They can be beneficial because they offer validation, a sense of belonging, empathy, healthy coping skills, and hope.

You can often find support groups through local mental health clinics, community centers, libraries, or online.

You can also check out ASCA, a support program designed specifically for adult survivors of physical, sexual, or emotional child abuse or neglect.

Online Support Communities

There are online platforms and forums where you can anonymously connect with others. You can rant, ask for advice, or share your experiences with like-minded people.

You can seek support and advice on sites like Reddit and Facebook that has subreddits and groups respectively dedicated for the purpose of providing support to those who need it.

Whether you’re struggling emotionally with a situation, looking for a job, or need some tips on how to save money, reaching out online can be beneficial. It’s a good way to usually get a variety of perspectives and advice on whatever you need support with.

If you’re worried about the possible backlash for opening up emotionally or venting, there are organizations that provide their own safe space.

  • HAVOCA (Help for Adult Victims of Child Abuse) provides support, friendship, and advice for adults who’ve been affected by childhood abuse.
  • If you are LGBTQ+, Trevor Space can connect you with others in the community.
  • SaneForums allows you to chat with other people who “get it” with health professionals moderating in the background.

Hotlines and Crisis Centers

Hotlines can provide immediate support and assistance if you’re in crisis or sometimes if you simply want someone to talk to. They may also refer you to local resources, support groups, counseling services, or advocacy organizations that can further assist you.

Crisis centers can also help you develop safety plans, especially if you’re stuck in an abusive situation or in immediate danger.

These services are oftentimes available 24/7 and can be accessed anonymously.

  • Childhelp provides crisis intervention, information, and referrals to local resources for survivors of child abuse.
  • RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) provides support and resources for survivors of sexual assault and abuse.
  • 1in6 provides information and support resources for male victims of sexual abuse.

You can also refer to the International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies for a global list of hotlines and crisis centers.

Social Support

I believe that a social support network is a key element in healing. They can provide reassurance, validation, support, and hope while reducing feelings of isolation, shame, and self-doubt.

On top of emotional support, a social support network may also be able to help physically and financially. They can help you with job searching, overwhelming tasks, driving, and more.

Learn more about how to build a social support network and how it can benefit you.

Legal Resources

As a child abuse survivor, you may benefit from legal resources and advocacy services.

These services can help you navigate the legal system, obtain restraining orders, and seek compensation for damages.

Legal services can be found through local legal aid organizations, victim advocacy groups, or through an attorney. You can also take advantage of free consultations some private law firms may offer.

When seeking out legal resources, try to find ones that specialize in cases of child abuse and have experience working with survivors. Also, look into crime victim compensation programs like The National Center for Victims of Crime.

These programs provide financial assistance to victims of crimes, including child abuse. The finances can be used to cover medical expenses, counseling costs, and other related expenses.

Financial Resources

As a child abuse survivor, you may face certain financial hardships as a result of your experiences. You may struggle with issues such as unemployment, medical bills, and difficulty finding affordable housing.

If you are struggling financially, look into government assistance you may be eligible for like EBT, Medicaid, or Section 8.

There are also many rebate and discount programs for things like utilities, phone, and internet you can probably find through certain government websites.

The crime victim compensation programs mentioned before can also provide resources and referrals if you need assistance with housing, employment, and other financial issues.

And if you’re struggling financially in any other way, the internet often consists of a lot of various resources teaching you how to manage. Just try to be specific in your search.

There are also many programs and sites that can provide discounts, coupons, or rebates for certain purchases. For example, BuzzRx provides discounts and coupons for medications.

You can also take full advantage of free food by going to a food bank or pantry. You can also often find freebies like furniture, bikes, and common household items on sites like Facebook Marketplace.

Related: Little Ways to Save Money

Conclusion

It can be incredibly hard to navigate life with no form of support, even more so when you’ve experienced something like childhood abuse.

So seeking out various forms of support and accepting it can significantly impact your healing journey in a positive way.

While learning how to find support and seeking out support will require some research and effort, it will benefit you and pay off in the long run.

You can also find a list of other possibly helpful and supportive resources here.

Remember, you deserve support. Again, it’s okay to ask for help! So try to accept it when it’s available. And once you’re in a better place, feel free to give back by helping others.

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Hi there, I’m Estee. Having grown up with an abusive mother, I know how isolating, frustrating, and hopeless everything could feel – back then as a child and even now as an adult.

I am always trying to better understand and manage the effects of the abuse I experienced. And this journey I’m on inspired me to create Hopeful Panda. Learn more here.

A lot of time and effort is put into this blog. If you enjoy my content or find it helpful, please consider making a donation or becoming a member. Your support helps me continue providing free content for all. Thank you!


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