It’s natural that you may have all kinds of worries and concerns about telling someone close to you – especially if the person who abused you was a family member or family friend.

When and if you tell anyone about what happened to you is totally your decision. You’re in charge now. If you do decide to share what happened to you with someone – often referred to as ‘disclosing’ – it’s important to talk to someone you can trust and choose a time that is right for you.

The first person you talk to may not know how to react or what to say at first and they may feel shocked by what you have to say. Give them some time and don’t lose hope.

If you decide that you don’t feel right about talking to family or friends at this time, or you just need more support, it can help to talk to your GP or a counsellor. Talking to someone you don’t know about something so personal can be very difficult but it’s often the first step to finding the right support.

You can find a range of organisations who offer counselling services on MindWell. It’s alright to ask a counsellor if they have experience of supporting adults who have been abused as children. And if you find that you are not comfortable with a certain counsellor or you don’t think you are making progress it is also OK to ask for someone else. It’s worth remembering that a counsellor will not tell you what to do but is there to give you a space in which you can explore ways to feel better.

Peer support can connect you with people with similar experiences so that you can share emotional support, encouragement and practical help. Joining a peer support group can help you to find and develop effective ways of coping in a space that is safe and supportive.