Supporting yourself

Here are a few things we have learnt that may be helpful for you in your journey as a supporter 

Your role as a supporter 
Often when you are supporting someone you care for or love, it is easy to become a “fixer”. Though survivors may be vulnerable, it isn’t our job to protect them or prevent them from choosing their own paths. We can simply be there, throughout the journey. 

You are important
Know that relationships that are built on trust, respect and mutual care. These are foundational for healing and recovery from child sexual abuse.

Looking after yourself
Knowing your own needs and finding ways to meet them is an important part of your journey supporting a survivor.

You need to tell your story too
Finding support for yourself from other supporters, your family and friends, and organisations like SAMSN can make a huge difference. Connection to others who travel a similar road can provide reassurance, a different perspective, hope and wisdom.

Understanding the impacts
The ripple effects of child sexual abuse can help in making sense of the journey of healing and recovery and your part in that. For more information check out our Resources section.

You may feel pressure
“From yourself or from others” to take responsibility for your survivor’s wellbeing. Whilst you can walk alongside him, you are not responsible for him.

It is a two-way street
Whilst also giving support, you will learn a great deal from survivors about resilience and dealing with life’s challenges.

I highly recommend SAMSN. I was not sure what to expect. As a supporter I now have a better understanding. It was very helpful to listen to other people’s experiences.