A Counselor’s View On Recognizing And Helping The Abused


Source: theadvocate.com


Abuse frequently happens when there are no people around, so it can be hard to identify. Even if a person is aware that abuse is happening, he might not know how to help. This ambiguity can lead to major anxiety.

The most appropriate step to make is not always the same. When the domestic abuse victim is a single adult, experts suggest following the individual’s lead on what step to take. When the victim or survivor is a senior or child, somebody from outside their circle might be required to report to the authorities. If a person believes that he is maltreating others, he can actually help by getting treatment for himself.

Helping The Abused Adult

If you know a person who is being abused, you could be feeling useless about the situation – particularly if the abused has told you that taking action may harm him even more. It can be devastating to be watching a person you care about being continuously abused. But an abuse victim needs to take the necessary action on his time – when he is ready.

Among the most beneficial things that you can do for a person who is being abused is to lend an ear and support her without judging. Comfort this person by reassuring her that what happened was not her fault. Remind her that there is help available when she is prepared to start her journey towards recovery. Also, you can help them in formulating a safety plan. Regardless of the victim intends to report to the authorities or stay safe by keeping quiet, you can always help her become equipped. You can:

  • Help her create an escape plan.
  • Be sure that she has contact details for a 24/7 hotline.
  • Go shopping with her for her basic needs.
  • Do your own research regarding legal counsel.
  • Encourage her to start collecting proof of the abuse if she has not started yet.

Only the victim or survivor knows when it is the safest and most suitable time for her to find help. It is important to remember that it is not your responsibility to save her, offer advice about the abuse, or meddle in any way.

Source: source.wustl.edu

Spotting Abuse In Children

Children don’t probably realize that the abuse they are experiencing is not normal. An adult could persuade an older child that she needs treatment. Since a lot of kids know their abuser or offender, they can be hesitant to seek help. A child is more likely to keep quiet about sexual abuse, but although a child keeps quiet about it, she can still manifest some symptoms. Below are typical indications of child abuse – physical, sexual, and emotional.

  • Attachment and anxiety issues
  • Unexplained trepidation or fear of specific people and places
  • Insomnia and nightmares
  • Excessive sexual conduct
  • Hostility towards other children, animals, etc.
  • Inclination towards self-harm
  • A lack of primary social abilities
  • Inappropriate bedwetting or soiling of clothes

None of these indications is evidence of abuse. A child can thrive in a healthy space and still experience nightmares. Similarly, a child can be assaulted and not present any abnormal behaviors. However, if he shows several symptoms simultaneously or if his behavior changes unexpectedly, there might be a reason to worry.

Spotting Abuse In The Disabled Or Elderly

A vulnerable adult is more than 18 and has difficulty meeting their own needs. This problem could be a result of disability or age. Vulnerable or defenseless adults have a higher likelihood of being neglected, abused, or financially exploited secondary to a relative incapacity to protect against harm.

There is an increasing number of elderly that are abused each year. But studies show that most scenarios of elderly abuse are mostly not reported. If you have an elderly loved one or are working with one, you can help by looking for warning signs. Neglect or abuse might be happening if the individual:

  • Is not receiving necessities, such as water, food, clothing, and others)
  • Comments or offers clues suggesting that they are being abused
  • He does not get his basic living needs or amenities when another person is in control of his money
  • It has been neglected for a long time
  • Presents modifications in behavior or character that is unusual
  • Has burns, wounds, bruises, and other unexplained marks
  • Does not have medical aids, like medications, glasses, hearing aids, etc.
  • Shows withdrawal symptoms
  • Has become a victim of theft, financial crime, forgery, or fraud

Source: rawpixel.com

You are the only one who knows what is normal and not normal for the victim or survivor. If there is something doubtful, it is crucial to report a person or agency that can take the necessary steps on behalf of the abused. There is no punishment for doing something out of faith and goodwill.

Anybody who can provide services for the disabled or the elderly is an authorized reporter of any abuse. Notification networks for reporting include residential care services, adult protective offices, and local law enforcement.



Mental Health Counseling For Rape Victims


Rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault, and sexual harassment are crushing as they are illegal. Research reports that for every 90 seconds, one American is sexually harassed, and for every 8 minutes, the victim is usually a child. Sadly, there are only 6 of the 1,000 sex offenders that will end up in jail.


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Typical Mental Health Issues Seen In Sexual Assault Victims

No two individuals respond to a given circumstance in the same way. Their partner could have assaulted two individuals, but they may respond entirely differently because of previous experiences, support networks, and personality traits, among others. Remember that the term ‘normal’ here has a very wide scope. However, most victims – both female and male – are distraught from rape and sexual assault. Below is a list of some typical mental health issues that could emerge after sexual assault.

Depression. An individual who was raped and whose body was physically disrespected will obviously have a difficult time coping. This can generate feelings of incompetence and hopelessness and a sense of not being in control in many areas of her life. The individual might start to doubt her own actions regarding the actual assault, and it is usual for her to think negatively of herself. Self-esteem also starts to sink in. There will also be periods when concern about meeting the sex offender again results in the victim eventually secluding herself and spend more time alone, which in turn heightens depression. Depressive emotions can be minor and transient, or they can be severe and chronic.

Sleep Problems. Occasionally, sexual assault victims and survivors have trouble sleeping. A few times, they may also suddenly wake up from a terrible dream or experience bouts of panic attacks in the middle of the night.

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Relationship And Attachment Issues. If a person has been sexually assaulted, raped, or abused, it can be very hard for her to trust anybody. Victims may also find it difficult to establish positive connections even with those they used to know before the devastating incident. Relationship issues are particularly real in kids who have been sexually harassed. They have not formed as many healthy experiences and are still acquiring wisdom about their views and perceptions of the world surrounding them.

Grief. A person whose virginity was lost through rape will most likely mourn her past self or what she had yearned for in the first experience with sex. College students who were raped during their career lived in apprehension and fear of meeting their offender on the school grounds will lament over the freedom that they expected to get in college. A successful career woman who stopped working because of constant sexual assault may grieve the loss of a job that she had imagined for herself.

Anxiety. This is very typically seen after any trauma. Victims or survivors may be scared that the assault could occur again. Panic episodes are usual. Some can have agoraphobia, where they feel hesitant and scared to get out of their homes. College students who have been raped or abused on the school grounds are so scared that if they get out of their dorm, they will come across a sex offender. In some scenarios, a victim or survivor could dread seeing people who look similar to those who assaulted them. For example, if their offender had long black hair, they may start to notice themselves getting more anxious each time they meet a person with the same hairstyle, even if they are logically sure that not everyone with that hairstyle is their offender.

Anger Flare-Ups

Anger is an extremely typical feeling following sexual abuse or rape, and people are often uncertain of how to respond with anger. This kind of anger can be projected to anyone – towards the sex offender, family, or friends that the victim hopes saved them from the ordeal, or individuals who are entirely unrelated to them. Victims and survivors may act in ways that they don’t totally understand, and they might start saying that they have an anger issue without realizing the link between the trauma they went through and their strong feelings.


A person who just endured sexual abuse or rape may have strong memories of the incident through nightmares or flashbacks. They may also begin to avoid people, places, or things that make them remember the assault. It’s typical for victims and survivors to nurture unpleasant beliefs about themselves and their surroundings.

Source: jacksonhealth.org

Sexual Assault: Consulting A Counselor Who Focuses On Rape And Assault Victims

Numerous counselors focus on different treatments for trauma, but sexual traumas can be significantly distinctive from any experience. A person who has dealt with others who have experienced assault or rape can help you manage your feelings and give you a reason to hope. They understand the matters involved in the trauma treatment for sexual abuse, assault, or rape. These are distinctly terrifying circumstances. There may also be reassurance and relief for you upon knowing that your counselor already ‘knows all about it.’