"I don't know how to help my niece heal after being raped" – Mama Madikgetla answers your questions

Guardian is worried about her niece as she doesn't know how to help them heal.
Guardian is worried about her niece as she doesn't know how to help them heal.
Maksym Panchuk / EyeEm/ Getty images

Question

My niece experienced sexual trauma when she was eight years old. I know she went for councelling for just a few sessions. I don’t know if it really helped as she is withdrawn.

She stays with me now and I am wondering if there is anything I need to do to help her in addition to the professional councelling she received from a social worker?

Read more | I lost myself when I lost my mother – this is how I healed

Mama Madikgetla answers

Survivors of childhood sexual trauma are likely to experience the hardship as a result of the traumatic incidents as they grow older. One of the causes is that as they mature they begin to have more understanding of what happened to them and become aware of how the incident changed their lives without giving them a choice.

I would recommend that you take her back for counselling again and if possible, to the same social worker. It is after an assessment and based on the findings that you will be empowered on how to support her