One in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys experience sexual abuse before they turn 18. The impact of this abuse reverberates throughout a young person’s life, following them into adulthood, affecting essential relationships with others and self. Child sexual abuse (CSA) will often cause trauma reactions that inhibit a person’s ability to lead a full, healthy life, and can be the antecedent to addiction, school dropout, teen pregnancy, and suicide attempts.
And the impact doesn’t stop there.
Child Sexual Abuse also has a devastating impact on the family and future generations. Each member of the family has a contribution to make in the healing process, as each will have been affected in their own way. A parent may experience a conflict between their role of caregiver for the person harmed and their identity as person responsible for holding the family together. Similarly, other family members may feel conflicting loyalties, guilt for not being aware of what was happening, and a profound impotence at not being able to help the situation.
Child Sexual Abuse harms everyone in the family, and everyone has a role to play in healing.
Hidden Water helps individuals heal from the devastating impact of child sexual abuse within a family system. Our Restorative Justice program provides an opportunity for each family member to do the work they need to heal and support the healing of the whole family.
The work starts with four Healing Circles offered to individuals based on their relationship to harm:
- Green Circle for those who were harmed
- Orange Circle for non-offending parents and caregivers
- Purple Circle for those who caused harm
- Blue Circle for other family members, friends and allies
Healing Circles are free and open to any individual who identifies as part of that group. Each circle runs for 12 weeks, and is designed to provide a supportive environment for healing in community. Individuals can participate regardless of whether other family members have taken a similar step, though we often see additional family members join after one person completes the initial 12 weeks. Each Healing Circle is facilitated by two trained Circle Keepers who also identify as part of that group.
Hidden Water is a not for profit organization dependent solely on individual donations
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