Getting help can improve your life, increase your feelings of self-worth, and strengthen your relationships. You do not have to carry the pain caused by abuse alone, and you don’t have to carry it forever.
Because of the abuse that happened to you, you may have a difficult time feeling joy. However, Heavenly Father wants you to experience joy. President Dallin H. Oaks said: “One of the greatest of all God’s revelations is Father Lehi’s teaching that ‘men are, that they might have joy.’ (2 Ne. 2:25.) Joy is more than happiness. Joy is the ultimate sensation of well-being” (“Joy and Mercy,” Ensign, Nov. 1991, 73).
Help can come in various forms. It may include protection by civil authorities, guidance from professional counselors, or support from others (see “Where can I turn for support?”).
Help If You Are in Crisis
If you have been or are being abused or if you feel unsafe, you may need immediate help from civil authorities, child protective services, adult protective services, or medical professionals. You may also seek help from a lawyer or victim advocate. These services can help protect you and prevent further abuse (see “In Crisis” for immediate help).
Help with Comfort, Support, and Healing
No matter when you were abused, you can benefit from support and professional help. Most victims heal best when someone believes them, they have their feelings validated, they feel safe and protected, and they understand how the abuse has affected them. Support can help you find peace and not feel alone as you seek to find healing.
Getting help can also provide you with the following:
- A connection to others
- Someone who can listen with compassion
- Someone who can support you
- A belief that healing is possible
- Feelings of love and acceptance
- Guidance through the healing process
- Courage and ability to move forward through the healing process
- More positive thoughts
Finding support may help you begin to feel hope. It can also help you find happiness and joy.
Community and Church Resources
(Some of the resources listed below are not created, maintained, or controlled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While these materials are intended to serve as additional resources, the Church does not endorse any content that is not in keeping with its doctrines and teachings.)
- “A Bridge to Hope and Healing,” Nanon Talley, Liahona, Apr. 2017
- “Healing from Trauma and Moving On,” HelpGuide.org
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Information on crisis hotlines, mental health guidance, help for abused or neglected children, help for sexually abused children, responding to disasters, and victim assistance and compensation programs.
- RAINN.org (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): Programs to help prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and bring offenders to justice.