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Resources for Survivors of Sexual Abuse Material

Overview

Recovering from child sexual exploitation can be a challenging road, and it can often feel like you are navigating it alone. NCMEC is here to help. Having worked with communities of survivors, NCMEC knows that feelings of isolation, fear, and worry can make seeking resources a difficult process. There is an army of professionals at NCMEC and other organizations who may be able to help you.  We want you to know that your needs matter and this page was created so you can take action.

Reporting

If you want to make a report of child sexual exploitation, you can use NCMEC’s CyberTipline. Specially trained analysts will process that report and make it available to the appropriate law enforcement agency. 

“My daughter was being exploited. I knew I had to call NCMEC. I’m glad I did and every parent should understand what NCMEC is all about. Knowing your child is suffering the most horrific pain and that you can’t do anything to stop it is the worst feeling in the world. Knowing we had a resource like NCMEC made us feel empowered, and made a difference in our daughter’s life!”
– Mother of a survivor

Emotional & Peer Support

When a child is the victim of sexual exploitation it is difficult for the whole family.  NCMEC is here to help with the recovery process. Masters-level trained advocates offer crisis intervention to families as well as resources and suggestions to help them rebuild and reconnect.

Additionally, NCMEC’s peer support network, Team HOPE, can provide support, empowerment, and resources to families of missing or exploited children from people who have experienced a similar trauma. If you’d like to connect with someone for emotional support, contact familysupport@ncmec.org or 1-877-446-2632 ext. 6117.

“Team Hope, besides being a life saver and your new family, is an amazing group of people who have been through every parent’s worst nightmare or every sibling’s worst nightmare. It’s probably the first time I talked to somebody who understood what I was talking about. When she answered the phone, we talked for 4 hours.” 
– Mother of a survivor

Removing Content

Are your images online? Need help getting them down? NCMEC works closely with technology industry partners to help reduce child sexual abuse material that circulates on the internet and stop the harassing online comments being posted as a result of this material. We can also share resources, guidance, and tools to help you remove child sexual exploitation photos and videos from the internet.  Learn how to report the images to the company directly or make a report to NCMEC’s CyberTipline

Locating Therapists

NCMEC can help you locate and connect to specially trained mental health professionals who work with families and survivors through our Family Advocacy Outreach Network. FAON is international in scope and provides therapeutic services within local communities. For help locating a therapist, contact familysupport@ncmec.org or 1-877-446-2632 ext. 6117.

"What I would say to survivors is that they have choices and they have rights and a lot of those choices were taken away while you were victimized. Use [your] resources, whether that is a therapist, a victim advocate or whomever [you've] connected with, ...to help [you] through the process because it’s very challenging and difficult.”
- Heather Bryan, Therapist and FAON Member

Locating Attorneys

A child whose sexually exploitative photos or videos are shared online has a legal right to seek monetary restitution from all offenders who create, share, or possess these images/videos. Because the process to seek monetary restitution is complex and often confusing, it may be helpful for you to have an attorney when you navigate the legal system. NCMEC can talk you through these legal issues and help you find an attorney who will work on your behalf. For more information, contact familysupport@ncmec.org or 1-877-446-2632 ext. 6117.

“We think you’re worth something, the law thinks you are worth something, the American public thinks you’re worth something. That’s why these laws are in place, that’s why the system has been set-up and you need to take advantage of it.”
- Erik Bauer, Attorney who has represented survivors

Survivor & Family Support

For All Survivors & Families

If you or someone else are in immediate crisis, please call 911 or your local police.
If you want to report a potential suicide threat, please visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Emotional Support & Referrals

NCMEC’s masters-level trained advocates are available to survivors, families, foster families, caregivers, and others by phone or email to assist in finding the right community-based resources to assist with healing. You are encouraged to email gethelp@ncmec.org to see if we can support you and/or your family. 

Team HOPE is a network of volunteers who have personally experienced the trauma of having or being a missing or exploited child. With this firsthand knowledge of the multitude of emotions people experience, these volunteers provide peer support to adult family members of missing or exploited children, as well as adults who were missing or exploited as children. 

Help Locating Legal Aid

NCMEC helps families who are navigating the legal system. NCMEC’s Office of Legal Counsel provides legal technical assistance to parents, guardians, survivors and families. We offer resources, help describe available legal remedies for resolving cases and answer important questions for families about the criminal and civil court process.

If your child was abducted across borders or has been impacted by child sexual exploitation, NCMEC may be able to provide referrals to an experienced attorney (including pro bono or reduced-fee referrals) who can help with the legal issues relating to the situation. In some cases, survivors of child sexual abuse material, child sex trafficking or related exploitation are entitled to financial compensation and working with an experienced attorney is critical to exercising your rights.

Please email gethelp@ncmec.org for information about attorney referrals for families and survivors impacted by a missing child or dealing with child sexual exploitation.

For Those With a Missing Child

Missing Child Case Management

When a child goes missing, NCMEC case managers play a vital role in collecting leads, adding value to tips, and coordinating information for the involved parties (families, law enforcement, etc). If you are a parent or legal guardian who has already reported your missing child to local law enforcement and would like a NCMEC case manager involved with your child's missing case, please call 1-800-THE-LOST.

Reunification Assistance

NCMEC is available to help families prepare for their child’s needs when children initially reunite with their families days or months later. Families in financial need may qualify for transportation at low or no cost to them once their children are recovered.

Please email gethelp@ncmec.org to see if we are able to assist your family in reunification.

For Those Overcoming Exploitation

Reporting Sexual Exploitation

If you want to make a report of child sexual exploitation, you can use NCMEC’s CyberTipline. Specially trained analysts will process that report and make it available to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
 

Removing Sexual Images of a Child Online

Requests to remove explicit content can be made by individuals directly to hosting platforms and websites. Full instructions on how to do this are regularly updated at MissingKids.org/TakeitDown. You can also report explicit images of a child online to the CyberTipline.

Those making a report to NCMEC's CyberTipline have the option to work 1:1 with a CyberTipline team member to work through removing the image and finding additional support. If you would like to work with a team member to remove an image, please email gethelp@ncmec.org .

Resource Documents

Coping with Child Sexual Abuse Material Exposure
Resources for Child Sexual Exploitation Survivors & Their Families
Reconnecting with Your Child
Resources for Empowering Families
You Are Not Alone: Support for Child Sexual Abuse Material Survivors & Their Families
Child Sex Trafficking in Amerca: A Guide for Parents & Guardians
When Your Child is Missing...
You are Not Alone: The Journey from Abduction to Empowerment