Wednesday Evening Open House for Individuals or Group Studio Visits

Current educational practices of the symptoms of abuse need to be expanded upon to include medical, religious, cultural and community professionals.

A central facility needs to be established to provide resource recovery sources. Advocacy for greater funding to make varied resources accessible.

Resources need to be not only accessible financially, emotionally, structurally and physically, but provide varied approaches such as group or individual counseling, sweat lodges and others.

Informing the public about the symptoms and disorders that people may be experiencing as a result of abuse.





I am tired of these binding restraints
I don't want this burden of unwarranted constraints
It's time to shed what I don't deserve
I want to live life with elan and verve
What will it be like to live life free
I'm willing to do anything to be the real me
So now I lay down my defenses and masks
to devote my energies to more productive tasks
I know it won't be easy to change my ways
but the results will be worth it, much happier days.







If soul-deep pain and guilt could take flight
As does a bird
And tortured memories be quieted
As if to shush a word.
If I could take my young child
Wrapping her in my arms
Murmuring ever words of love
And keeping her from harm
Would childhood unspoiled then return to me?
Or am I left to mourn my loss and cry
Cry bitterly.






It is a long journey
back through the labyrinth
that twisted the child and left it
killed a thousand times over
each milepost holds its own special pain.
In the twisting tortuous road
at whose end sits a tiny child
seated on the ruins of the past, crying
yearning to be taken home at last.






I pull, I twist, I squeeze, I stretch
this hard shapeless piece of wax
Wanting to create a picture
that shows the honest facts.

Needing to show the world
my anguish, sorry and pain
Where a child so full of hurt
lay crumpled covered with shame

Shame for things done to me
with choices I never had
Constantly told by all
that I was the one who was bad.

As I manipulate this piece of wax
I feel a warm and cleansing glow.
Where my little spark of hope
can finally start to grow.

Freedom from abuse memories
that are pulled from my dark past
To be healed, respected and believed in as I begin to shout, "I am free at last!"







Deep in my core lies hidden
the seed of life -
lost amidst the pain
of someone else's choice.

Incestuous abuse
ravages my childhood,
steals my future,
destroys my SELF.

Agony courses
through my veins:
Burning, Freezing,
Struggling, Debilitating.

There is power in my choice -
I choose to feel the pain,
to grieve the loss, to be sad;
to Live, to BE.







The rose, the bird
With a broken wing,
And human spirit
Have a reason and
Purpose in being.
The sometimes brutal
And violent aspects of humanity
Can be turned by seeing
The good within.
Healing in the soul takes
Time and each of us
Follows a course to
Sanity but it must
Start with forgiveness
And that comes from

Spencer 904a4






Your young hand
My old one join.
Tears flow between
You and me
No help for the helpless
Our fingers interlock
Grief stricken
Tears bridge the gap
Between the years
Swallowing back the losses
I feel your young presence
your spirit
in this hand.






Broken by abuse
Healed by love


Discussion - What Resources Exist to Aid in Recovery?

Therapeutic Resources:

Many resources exist such as meditation, body work (physical activity), role playing, group therapy, individual therapy, play/art therapy and books. An “obstacle course” is designed to teach people to work together in a group, developing trust and working with different skill levels.

It is difficult to talk about experiences of abuse, and this effectively silences issues for individuals, their families and their communities. Parents are often more accepting in terms of discussing abuse issues. The problem is that there is no place to go with this type of information. How knowledgeable is the public about recovery process resources? In addition, prevailing male myths often make it more difficult for men to seek recovery.



What needs to exist:

A family support centre that can be publicized and accessible to the community for recovery and preventive issues.

Abusers, who have often been abused themselves, and who are working through their own issues need access to specific services. A central information source for recovery options for men and women.

Publicity and education on abuse issues to help the public learn what to do with information about abuse. More investment in recovery centres and resources.

Male focused resources and programs. Funding for non-traditional sources of healing.

Education and training for medical practitioners regarding physical, sexual and emotional abuse as possible causes for medical symptoms. A medical dismissal has powerful silencing effects on the recovery processes of abuse survivors.

Religious practitioners should be educated regarding abuse issues in order to act constructively should a survivor choose to seek them out.

There seem to be more resources available for women than for men. For women, the socialization process produces people who are more open in their conversational abilities.

Men are encouraged to be more stoic, to engage in interactions of a less personal nature. Do more women disclose abuse than men? Are there more women abused than men?

Resources need to be not only accessible financially, emotionally, physically and structurally, but provided in varied modalities.

It is essential for people to seek help and recovery from abuse.



Resources in Existence:

Resources include:

the Child Abuse Survivor Monument Project;
the programs of the YW and YMCA;
the Children’s Aid Society referral sources;
ALIVE (Against Living in Violent Environments) which offers peer support and facilitation by survivors;
EVA (End Violence Alliance);
She Hers/Hostels (e.g. Eva’s Place);
Family Service Associations; Community Centres;
Psychiatric hospitals or settings; doctors; group therapy organizations;
individual therapist or counselors; cultural associations; religious groups and practitioners (sweat lodges);
self help books, videos, groups;
alternative medicine publications as sources for material;
more street based advertising,
help lines and distress lines such as the Kids Help Phone.



Key Messages

Publicity about resources is important, but the issue of safety is also extremely significant. There is no central referral location for survivors to access. Many discover resources by word of mouth.

There is a lack of profile for resources. Institutions are aware of the issue, but information is not necessarily easily available to the public. They cannot look up what they need in the yellow pages. Existing public education programs are inadequate.

Financial constraints are a consideration. For example, private therapists may not be a viable option for many survivors.

Survivors are encouraged to remain silent. They may not access resources due to fear, safety or confidentiality issues or cultural issues such as “the business of the family should be kept within the family” or acceptance of corporal punishment as a cultural norm.

Many victims of physical abuse often do not feel that they have been abused, and then may simply perpetuate the cycle.

Friends or partners can be a source of recovery for survivors, yet many of these people may not be able to cope with disclosures.




De Luca, Rayleen V. and others. “Group Treatment for Child Sexual Abuse”. Canadian Psychology, April 1992, vol. 33 no 2, p. 168-79.

Durie, Helen. “PEI Healing Centre for Survivors”. Healthsharing, fall-winter 1992, vol. 13 no. 3, p. 26, 32-3.

Imber-Black, Evan. The Secret Life of Families: Truth-telling, Privacy and Reconciliation in a Tell-All Society. New York: Bantam Books, 1998.

-----------. Secrets in Families and Family Therapy. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1993.

Kehoe, Patricia. Helping Abused Children: A Book for Those Who Work With Sexually Abused Children. Seattle, Wa.: Parenting Press, Inc., 1988.

Marshall, William Lamont, Yolanda M. Fernandez, Stephen M. Hudson and Tony Ward., editors. Sourcebook of Treatment Programs for Sexual Offenders. New York and London: Plenum Press, 1998.

Morgan, Marcia K. How to Interview Sexual Abuse Victims: With a Special Segment on Appropriate Use of Anatomical Dolls. London: Sage Publications Ltd. 1994.

Ricks, Frances. “Native Sexual Abuse Counsellor: An Empowerment Training and Healing Model.” Northern Review, Summer 1991, vol. no 7, p. 112-29.

Trent, Bill. “Art Therapy Can Shine a Light Into the Dark History of a Child’s Sexual Abuse.” Canadian Medical Association Journal, April 15, 1992, vol. 146 no. 8, p. 1412-18, 1422.


"Follow Site Web Ring"

This hand shall forever
know the pains and
woes that sorrow sows.
Fred, age 17




unheard tears
unheard scream
unheard lies
unheard breath
Now I'm left with
all the scars
that will never heal.
Heba 16




It took 40 years
of fear
before I was set free.




The place inside me
shines and remains
untouched . I own my
body and it remains
pure as my spirit.




Darkness was mine...
Now it's my tome to...


Build more group
Love on another.
Heather, age 17




together we are stronger
than along
Bruce and Austin




Hands should bring
someone close to you
not push them away.
Hands are for holding,
not for hurting.




My friends are nice.




Friends last forever,
help those who have
Believe in yourself
and have everyting.
A little light
goes a long way
for those who don’t feel
loved inside!
Family is everlasting
even if it’s not your
real parents.
Everyone has someone
Help those who don’t
know how!




Together we can make
a difference and
Heal our hearts.




Hands for help.




I'm so proud of you.

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*All Rights Reserved
copyright (1991-2012)

*All Rights Reserved
copyright (1991-2012)