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Information for parents and carers

Supporting a child

It can be hard for parents and carers to understand or know how to respond to the strong feelings and traumatic responses that young people affected by gender-based violence may have, or to know how to help. And they may also feel all kinds of emotions of their own – shock, fear, anger, distress.

Parents and carers of children who have experienced gender-based violence and who are under the age of 16 may also have to make decisions with their child about happens next, for example, whether to speak to their schools or any other services involved, whether to make a report to the police, and finding the right kind of support for their child. It’s important that that children as involved as far as possible in decisions that affect them, appropriate to their age, stage and understanding of the situation.

This leaflet offers information for parents and carers supporting a child affected by sexual violence. It gives information about sexual violence, how it might affect your child and how you can support them while looking after yourself too. Parents and carers can also contact many of the services listed here for support for themselves or their children.

You can also hear from parents Liz and Phil Smith speaking about their journey after their daughter Charlotte was raped – what they learned and how they wanted to help other families in a similar situation.


For parents and carers who have been affected by gender-based violence

If you have been affected by any form of gender-based violence – whether it’s something recent, something that’s happening now, or something in the past, there is a range of support available to you. Coping with the impacts of gender-based violence can be difficult and there is no set time for healing. Your child may be keen to discuss what they are learning about gender-based violence with you and this might bring up difficult feelings and memories for you. You deserve to be supported with this and you can find information about services including emotional support, practical support and legal advice.

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