Insight for Parents

Don’t blame her

Rape is never the victim’s fault.  Don’t blame or criticize or find fault with her.  Most daughters do not disclose the rape to their parents, for fear of their reaction.  Be thankful if you know, and strive to provide a positive, loving, supportive environment.
“I told you so” is never appropriate.  Put your daughter’s feelings above your need to be right.

Believe her

Believe her.  Lots of people won’t believe her, for various “reasons.”  Let her see and know that you believe her.

Be supportive

Be supportive, listening to her, letting her talk when she chooses.
There are a lot of things going through her mind, and it will take time for her to sort things out.
She needs a friend who can be there for her.  Be her friend first, and her parent second.
Hold her when she wants to be held.
What happened to her wasn’t her fault.  It will take time for her to believe and understand that.  Give her a supportive environment and believe that too.
Take the opportunity to stop and smell the roses.  Take walks with her without saying a word.

Let her make choices

Don’t force anything on her.  Someone took control away from her; she needs the right to make her own decisions again.
Give her the time she needs; don’t pressure her to return to what you consider is normal.
It’s not your place to disclose the rape.
Your desire for justice may not match her desire.  Don’t fight with her over what should be done.
If you want to press charges, make sure you figured out what your motivation is.

Seek professional advice

Talk with a rape counselor as much as you need, to be best prepared and able to support your daughter through her recovery.