What To Say and NOT Say When a Survivor Shares Their Story

When a survivor of childhood trauma and abuse shares their story with you please believe them and listen to them. We do not need your solutions, your answers, or your help fixing us – we simply need your support.

Supportive Statements Sound Like:

  1. I believe you
  2. Thank you for sharing, I am here for you.
  3. It was not your fault.
  4. You didn’t deserve to be treated like that as a child
  5. You do not have to forgive your abusers to heal

Additionally, there are things you shouldn’t say and if anything on this list makes you want to explain yourself than this message is for you. Please stop saying these things to trauma survivors, you are hurting us and furthering the trauma that we are trying to heal.

Hurtful Statements Sound Like:

  1. Why were you silent for so long?
  2. You need to stop living in the past.
  3. Quit playing the victim and let it go.
  4. It’s over now, you need to focus on the future.
  5. Forgive your abusers so you can heal.

Our healing journeys are individual and they are sacred. Survivors are best supported when we are met where we are and not admonished or expected to meet arbitrary milestones.

On goes the journey.

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