What can I do for me?
Am I coping?
The discovery that a loved one has been viewing sexual images of children can have a detrimental impact on your physical and emotional wellbeing. Added to the distress and confusion of the loved one’s illegal behaviour, there may be a wide range of other stressors, such as:
- Fear of the police finding out (if the person has not yet been arrested)
- Fear of others finding out (family, friends, neighbours, the wider community, employers, colleagues, the media)
- Fear of rejection
- Employment problems (the offender’s and/or yours)
- Involvement of Social Services
- Financial problems (e.g. if the offender loses their job, you have to take time off work, legal costs, if the person is required to move out of the family home and into rented accommodation)
- Going through the legal process
- Waiting to find out about criminal charges and sentencing
- Media coverage
Many of these stressors may relate to things which have not yet happened, and may not be applicable to you. However, any one of them can be stressful and it is important for you to maintain good self-care. Good self-care involves both recognising when you are feeling bad (rather than just telling yourself it’s ‘one of those things’) and doing something about it (rather than just ‘getting on with things’).