Wednesday Evening Open House for Individuals or Group Studio Visits
  Mental Health
  What services are covered by our health and social system? What needs to be covered?

The reality that an adult would severely abuse a child is so overwhelming that people still do not believe even the most conservative statistics. Social denial and distancing contributes to the lack of a broad scale social commitment to deal with child abuse issues and concerns, only one of the costs of the tragedy of child abuse.

Child abuse is enormously costly to all of us. The repercussions of child abuse place increased costs and burden on the health care system, the social service system, the educational system, the workplace, and the judicial system. Social services for dealing with the treatment of abuse are overburdened.

A history of child abuse can be a contributing factor in relationship and parenting problems, depression, suicide, self injurious behavior, absenteeism, alcoholism, drug abuse, smoking, food addictions, prostitution, crime, violence, poverty and employment difficulties.

There is a loss to society of the talents of survivors of child abuse.

Sadly most child abusers were themselves abused as children. Fortunately, the majority of those who were abused as children do not repeat the cycle of violence.

Preventing child abuse will ensure a healthier, better educated, more productive, emotionally secure, loving and socially responsive community. Prevention is much cheaper than treatment.

We must take personal responsibility for the safety and care of children. Speak up and take action if you see something suspicious or disturbing.

Listen to the histories of survivors without shaming or blaming or prejudice. However difficult it may be to listen to our histories, it is a critical way in which you can help our healing.

Preventing child abuse will guarantee a healthier, more educated, more productive, more emotionally secure, more loving and more socially responsive community.






Death can be brought on by depression and or
self-destruction, if you allow it.
I wanted to talk to get relief, Inner peace;
but I was nervous about whether or not
I would be believed.

My children mean everything to me.
My sweet, beautiful daughter Hope, I love you.
My handsome young boys; D.J. (Derek Jr), Tanner
and last but definitely not leave, Dakota, aka Dak.
All four just bring a smile to my face
and brighten my day.

How could someone want to commit suicide with
four beautiful children, a loving wife, parents
that love and care about me, and a great and extremely
wonderful caring, sweet, giving grandmother
for whom I could never give her half of what
she has given me.










Farah Khan








































































scales of justice

Discussion - Social Costs of Abuse

Survivors of abuse are less productive as adults, suffering a great loss of self esteem and huge costs to their personal health. They need considerable access to all kinds of support systems.

Therapy for survivors is much more cost effective on a societal level than dealing with the impact of not receiving therapeutic support. A history of child abuse can be a contributing factor in relationship and parenting problems, depression, suicide, self injurious behaviour, absenteeism, alcoholism, drug abuse, smoking, food addictions, prostitution, crime, violence, poverty and employment difficulties. There is also a tremendous loss to society of the talents of survivors. Prevention, or dealing with the cause rather than the symptoms, is therefore much more cost effective that treatment for these residual issues.



In many cases, abuse leads to difficulties with learning, and has been linked to many learning disabilities. Adults note that after receiving intervention and assistance relating to their abuse, their ability to learn is greatly enhanced.


native art aboriginal art

There is an absence of the immediate response to a child who is being abused. Parents suffer feelings of guilt and responsibility. “You do not trust yourself as a parent.” Abuse affects a child’s ability to form healthy relationships with their siblings.

Children and parents are often unable to discuss their mutual experiences of abuse. Sharing provides a complete picture of what went on, and starts the process of healing.



Mental Health
Abuse survivors are not mentally ill, although they are often regarded as “damaged goods” within the system. They often suffer chronic pain such as migraines, chest pains and make constant visits to doctors, where they receive medication for their physical symptoms, even though the root cause of their condition is not physical. Institutions have not dealt well with this issue, resulting in a loss of faith in our institutions.

It is hard not to see the abused child as “damaged goods”, and to reduce expectations of the child. Education is needed for the non-offending parent(s). The “stop acting like a victim” approach has gone too far. It is a also a myth that survivors are permanently damaged.



What information needs to be communicated to the public?

Money is more efficiently used when spent on prevention (without taking from present programs). We need helping structures for children, such as the Kids Help Phone, to be in place within the schools. Abuse and protection must be a significant part of a child’s education.

We need to prevent situations where a child has to talk to too many people in order to access help.

Those who do not receive treatment become a greater and increasing burden on society. Governments need to be persuaded to tackle sexual abuse as a critical issue. We need to be more proactive on behalf of this issue. Offenders need to be held more responsible for the consequences.



There is a need for clear identification that “smacking” children and yelling at them is abuse. People need to intervene when they encounter these behaviours.

People on welfare are living under many stresses (poverty, under education, lack of employment) and need to be educated. The Baby Best Start Program is one such program which could educate and assist parents.

The SAFE-T Program (Sexual Abuse: Family Education and Treatment) at Thistletown Regional Centre reports ground breaking methods of treatment for adolescent sexual offenders and their families that reduce sexual assault recidivism (re-offending). SAFE-T provided assessment and treatment, specialized training and workshops, and research regarding adolescent sexual offenders. Treatment at SAFE-T resulted in a 72% reduction in sexual assault recidivism.



What services are covered by our health and social system? What needs to be covered?

Abuse is not solely an issue for people in poverty. One issue is that people who are better off have greater access to wider helping resources. However, therapy with a psychiatrist is paid for by OHIP.

Psychologists and social workers need to be covered. Psychiatrists need to be trained and knowledgeable in this area. We need to do more than medicate survivors. This course of action provides real dangers. As an alternative, psychosynthesis deals holistically with spirit, mind and soul. All care providers need to be much more sensitive to the needs of survivors. Also, at the point of intake, there is a need for services for families of children who do not disclose abuse to a specialist.

We must recognize that for survivors, therapy can take a very long time. Everyone should have the right to continue with a therapist whom he or she trusts. Limited access, such as a six session limit, is counterproductive and can be damaging to the individual. In addition, enormous delays exist in accessing suitable therapists.

At present it takes tremendous strength to “fight the system,” a fight for which many individuals do not have the strength.



Statistics, Facts, Analogies
Statistics exist. How do we package and communicate them?

We must compare the costs of the medical approach to abuse, versus the costs of a therapeutic approach. We need to either generate or obtain the statistics that will make an impact on the public on this issue.



The issue of abuse has only been public for about 20 years. The historic secrecy of the issue (e.g. traumatized W.W.II veterans who returned and were abusive to their families) has in part been responsible.

We need to make existing statistics about child abuse accessible to the public. Even so, most people do not believe even the most commonly known statistics about abuse. There is a societal desire to hand the issue of child abuse over to the experts and be relieved of having to deal with it.

We need posters to show the face of child abuse, that the dysfunctional adult contains the abused child. We need to show the many faces of child abuse so that it cannot be compartmentalized.

Things have not changed over the past twenty years. How do we make this issue real?




Bellfante, Ginia. “Finding Trauma Next Door: A Child’s Murder Reveals A Separate Tragedy: A Victim Turned Victimizer.” Time (Can. ed.), October 13, 1997, vol. 150 no. 15, p. 40-1..

Dryden, Ken. “Hockey and the Fragility of Trust: Sheldon Kennedy’s Courageous Revelations Provoke More Anger Than Answers.” Time (Can. ed.), January 20, 1997, vol. 149 no. 3, p. 52.

Gaboury, Dennis and Elinor Burkett. “Secret of St. Mary’s: Thirty Years Ago, Father James Porter Sexually Molested More Than 100 Children…” Rolling Stone, November 11, 1993, vol. no. 669, p. 48-50, 52+.

Gaylor, Annie Laurie. “Sins of the Fathers: A Critique of Sexual Abuse of Children By Clergy.” Humanist In Canada, Winter 1992, vol. 25, no. 4, p. 23-5.

Gelles, Richard J. The Book of David: How Preserving Families Can Cost Children’s Lives. New York: Basic Books, 1996.

Hankivsky, Olena and Lorraine Greaves. “The Costs of Violence: Another Piece of the Puzzle”. Empathetic Parenting, 1992, vol. 15, no. 1-2, p. 24-42.

Junod, Tom. “Last Angry Woman: …Helping Mothers Hide Their Children From Sexually Abusive Fathers. Life, April 1991, vol. 14, no. 4, p. 64-5, 67+.

Klein, Joe. “Predator Problem: The Secret Truth About Pregnant Teens Is That, All Too Often, They’re Victims of Sexual Abuse.” Newsweek, April 29, 1996, vol. 127 no. 18, p. 32.

Muller, Robert T., Robert A. Caldwell and John E. Hunter. “Factors Predicting the Blaming of Victims of Physical Child Abuse or Rape.” Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, April 1994, vol. 26, no. 2, p. 259-79.

Rodgers, Barbara and James R. Worling. The SAFE-T Program: An Overview. Sexual Abuse: Family Education & Treatment (Booklet) Published by Thistletown Regional Centre for Children and Adolescents: Toronto. Revised, March 1998.

Tervit, Trish. “Victim was ‘very suicidal’ (death of Martin Kruze is the latest tragedy of Maple Leaf Gardens Sex Abuses Scandal.” Hockey News, November 21, 1997, vol. 51 no. 11, p.7.

Worling, James R. and Tracey Curwen, M.A. The Adolescent Sexual Offender Project: A 10-Year Follow-up Study (Booklet) ) Published by Thistletown Regional Centre for Children and Adolescents: Toronto. April 1998.

Worling, James R. “Adolescent Sexual Offender Treatment at the SAFE-T Program.” In Sourcebook of Treatment Programs for Sexual Offenders, 353-364. William Lamont Marshall and others, ed. New York and London: Plenum Press, 1998.


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We only have childhood
once in our life.
Let us have a good
and healthy time.






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






Stop the cycle of
child abuse!
Melbourne, Australia






Wipe out child abuse.
Uncover a buried smile.






Because every child
Deserves to smile






Stop the cycle.
Please speak out.
It's not your fault!!!






I was abused!
The cycle stopped
with me.
Listen to children.
Believe the Children.
Help the children.






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!







Always know
you are loved!
Chris and Eric






I'm so proud of you.






Together we can make
a difference and
Heal our hearts.






We have to be nice
to people and
make them happy.
Wen people are crying
I could cheer them up.




Make sure
your hand
of support

will be inside
the Monument!




It’s nice to have a
colorful hand.






Be a friend.
Give a hand.






Hands for help.

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copyright (1991-2004)