Helping a loved one

How should you respond if you hear that a friend or family member has been abused?Blog 6 Helping a loved one

  • Becoming aware of the fact that someone you love has been abused can be very difficult.
  • The most important thing is to make sure that they are presently safe.
  • Let them know that you are there to support them and honor their story if they want to share it.


Helping children

Critical to this question is, the age of the survivor.  As adults we are all mandated reporters and must do all we can to keep children safe.  This is a delicate situation and should be consulted with a professional if possible, hotlines can be helpful here.  Children have a right to their privacy, we need to find a way to keep them safe while honoring their needs. 

Helping adults

However, if this is an adult, remember that it is their story to share when and if they wish. Be there to support them and provide encouragement and share resources.  

But, what if they share it with you and ask that you not tell anyone?

 Be patient and compassionate.  Sexual abuse is a crime of shame and violation, and highly stigmatizing.  Hence, be very mindful to not take the survivor’s power away by making them feel forced to tell or to pursue support and healing, when they are not ready for it. 

Reporting a sex crime to the police or sharing it with others is not easy and sometimes not the most helpful to the survivor. The survivor may still be in relationship with, and in proximity to or dependent on the abusive person.

Be there to support them, offer to help at identifying professional help and/or organizations that offers counseling and education/support. 

Be there when the survivor is ready to share their story and move to the next stage.

What would you do if a friend tells you they were sexually abused?

How would you respond if that friend were a young person? 

What would you want and expect from your friend, if you share your experience of being sexually abused with them?

Feel free to reach out to me if there is any way I support you.

Be Well, Be Blessed






This debut memoir chronicles a woman’s spiritual exploration and growth as she overcame a disturbing childhood and helped others heal.

Brought to America from the Dominican Republic as a youngster, Molina-Marshall should have led a happy life. Her father was a diligent worker, and his large family wanted for nothing. But the author recounts that her dad had a drinking problem and was a serial philanderer. Molina-Marshall’s long-suffering mother left him for a woman. Then it was all downhill for the bright, 12-year-old girl, who was shuttled between foster care and relatives. According to the author, she was sexually abused by the husband of one of her siblings. This resulted in Molina-Marshall becoming alienated and moody. By 15, she simply tried to survive. In her favor were grit and a restless intelligence. She quit school, rented a room, and found a factory job. Time went by, and for a while she was happily married. Yet when her husband left her, her life truly began. She turned to religion for answers but decided that blaming God for her woes was a cop-out. 

In this absorbing and moving memoir, Molina-Marshall’s vivid storytelling is fearless. She frankly discusses the truths she discovered and the indignities she suffered. These admissions are disclosed with a touch of resignation and plenty of bite. However painful, everything she experienced was a lesson, and she bravely realized that she was part of the problem: “The fear of being hurt, rejected, or abused often led to me feeling lonely and misunderstood. No one knew the agonizing pain I felt being trapped in my thoughts and anger. I was becoming my biggest threat.” 

The author skillfully recounts her intricate spiritual journey. To deal with her psychic wounds, she searched for an inspirational system. Her open-mindedness led her to the interfaith concept—cherry-picking from various religions and spiritual movements, yoga, and Indigenous beliefs as a way of finding peace. Along with her female partner, she built a therapy practice, making use of every spiritual element that aided her and others. The road was bumpy, and she found that women of color in same-sex relationships were not welcomed everywhere. To do good works—and finally live on her own terms—she effectively overcame bigotry.

An engrossing, cathartic account of empathy and success through determination and confidence.

Pub Date: May 3, 2022   |    ISBN: 978-0-578-38315-6  |   Page Count: 264    | Publisher: From Trauma to Triumph  |   Review Posted Online: June 13, 2022