By Ken Singer, LCSW:
Disclosure is the act of telling someone about a secret or private information. With survivors of sexual abuse, it may occur immediately after the abuse, or years later.
Sometimes it is a planned or purposeful disclosure. Other times it is forced or accidental, or may come out in a therapy session where there was no intention to discuss it or any recollection of the abuse.
This article is written for survivors who want to disclose their abuse. Disclosure may made to a partner or spouse who is unaware of the abuse, a non-offending parent or relative, sibling, friend or other person the survivor believes should know.
This article is also about confrontation which will be covered in Part 2. The two acts, disclosure and confrontation, need to be well thought out to ensure success and reduce the possibility of additional trauma for the survivor.
As a rule, if there is going to be confrontation with a perpetrator, some disclosure will likely have taken place before the confrontation. There are reasons why disclosure should precede confrontation (if confrontation is going to take place at all. In many cases, confrontation is not recommended, but more on that later.) —Confronting Your Abuser