Resilience is the ability to cope with life’s challenges and hardships. Research has shown that up to half of the children who experience sexual trauma are resilient and will not show any long-term problems or symptoms. Although a child’s resilience is due in part to biological and genetic factors, it is also a quality that you can encourage. Resilient children often possess high self-esteem, the ability to recruit help and the belief that their actions can make a difference for the better. Below are ways in which you can foster resilience in your child after a sexual assault.
Studies have found that increasing a sexually abused child’s self-esteem, strengthening the parent-child bond, providing positive school experiences, and participating in school activities such as sports and ensuring access to strong social supports will build resilience to the negative effects of sexual assault such as depression and anger.