Most parents deny and/or cannot even comprehend that the molestation could be done by to their child, and may even scold the child for being the conduit or the reason for the abuse. In some cases of parental child molestation, the abusing parent is more about the abuse of power and the preying on the innocence of a child. It is devastating for a family to have to come to grips with the realization that one member is an abuser; and that the child was the object of abuse. Outside intervention is necessary for healing to even begin. Extensive psychological sessions for both the parent and the child need to be done.
Most often, the child will feel that it is his/her fault that the abuse has happened and will even try to make amends to make things “work” so that harmony can be restored in the family. It is the psychiatrist’s role to intervene and make the child realize that she is innocent in what happened. There will be emotional scarring for both the child, the affected parent, and the family. Counseling will be a long process, and the approach is going to be three fold: Individual counselling; Group counseling, and integration into the family setting. Family support and unwavering love is most important during this very stressful and painful time. Each aggrieved party will need each other for support. Let me/us emphasize that it is NOT the child’s fault that the abuse or the molestation happened. They were the victims. Denial of the abuse is not going to help; and neither will displacing the blame on someone else other than the perpetrator, will. Most of the time, this is where the source of the hurt will lie, and if not addressed immediately; it will fester and break down the bonds of family.
Draw strength from peers; from support groups; and if it helps, in prayer. Anything to keep your sanity. Acceptance, and moving on is a very subjective process, but if one isn’t in a state of openness, then it will be difficult to transition back to a life of peace and harmony.
Iyanla Vanzant said, “You must be ready in mind, body and spirit before you can make a change. People cannot convince you to do it. You cannot force yourself to do it… In the meantime, you will not be ready until you are ready.”