• Nicole Escobar

Safe and Unsafe People


Are you ready to talk about your sexual abuse story? If so, there are things you need to keep in mind. The following are vital factors that you need to keep in mind before you choose who you speak to about your sexual abuse story.


Safe People

Who you tell your secrets to and what they’re advice will determine the steps you take after you’ve spoken your truth. Therefore you must seek and examine very well who you will tell, and they must possess specific characteristics such as the following.

  • They must have and demonstrate a genuine relationship with God.

  • Demonstrates empathy

  • Good listeners

  • People that validate emotions and feelings

  • They don’t tell you how you should feel or think

  • They have good emotional boundaries

  • Someone who you know will stay engaged in conversation

  • They don’t judge

  • They don’t try to fix you

The person you choose to tell your story to will either encourage you or silence you. People will either lead you on the path to healing or can hinder your healing journey and cause you to repress your emotions.


Unsafe People

Unsafe people in your life are those who do not possess empathy. If you know someone that is very dismissive over someone’s feelings, then this is not someone you should trust with your story. If a person entertains gossip or belittles others due to their inability to handle circumstances, this is a red flag of who you should not tell. A person who is self-righteous and isn’t humble will not be understanding, especially regarding a complicated matter as sexual abuse. People who are quick to share their opinions and feedback are the ones you should not seek to tell your story.


Something as fragile as your story of sexual abuse requires extreme empathy. Many people do not validate one’s emotions, and mental processes and something like sexual abuse trauma requires huge amounts of empathy and validation.


Sexual abuse survivors already feel immense amounts of shame, guilt, and undervaluation. Therefore, the people or person you choose to tell your story must possess love, empathy, and a desire to listen and help you get the support you need.


Disclosure

What you disclose about your story depends on who you are talking to. You must speak your truth and be as raw and transparent as you need to be, depending on who is listening. For instance, if you’re saying your parents keep in mind that this is a harrowing truth to uncover for them. Therefore, your prudence in how you were abused may be needed. Do not provide many details and be aware that they, too, will endure their process of confronting such a horrid truth. They will experience many emotions also and will require some space and time to react.


However, if you’re talking to someone that you feel you free to be fully honest with, then yes. Be honest and truthful about your experiences. Being honest and open will help you release those secrets from their prison. Your transparency will be liberating.


Reactions

Before and as you tell your story about your sexual abuse, you must understand that everyone reacts differently to this kind of news. Understand that there are emotions behind reactions, and those reactions will not always align with what you’d like to receive or experience.