What do you do when your child, who is under three, discloses that her Father has been sexually abusing her? Where do you go? Who do you turn to? That was my reality.
Your world turns upside down, you feel very isolated and helpless. People think that once your child tells you about the abuse everything will be fine because the abuse will stop, however it is just the beginning of a long journey to recovery. You have to find appropriate help for your child, deal with your own emotions and more often than not are then involved in part of a lengthy ongoing court case.
I was very fortunate to be informed about MAF (Moira Anderson Foundation) through the Victim Information and Advice Office. MAF became a lifeline for my family and myself.
The Foundation offers distressed families friendly, professional support. The staff are non judgmental and are welcoming, making contact a less daunting experience.
My youngest child, who had been abused, received play therapy at the Foundation and I used to phone or pop in whenever I needed that listening ear. My older children also received counseling, which to my knowledge is a service that is exclusive to the Foundation. The older children although had not suffered the abuse, they still went through a traumatic time, dealing with their sister’s abuse and court appearances, all at a crucial time of their high school education. They both went on to gain Hons Degrees, one in Law the other in Sculpture. Without the support from the Foundation I dread to think how they would have coped, especially as they found it difficult to talk to me, as they knew how much pressure I was under.
Another service that the Foundation offered, which I gladly accepted was having a member of staff with me at court. I couldn’t have coped with the stress of court if it had not been for having that friendly face with me, throughout the years of court appearances giving me confidence and support.
Since my daughter’s disclosure, I have recommended MAF to other survivors of child sex abuse knowing that the service they provide offer crucial support and an expertise in child sex abuse that many agencies don’t.
Because of the friendly ethos of MAF my daughter never thought twice about going to her play therapy sessions, for her she was going to “the white house” as she called it, to play and see friends.
I can’t thank the foundation enough as it has been noted by other professional agencies that my daughter’s recovery has been so successful due to the immediate intervention of therapy, which was not available at the time through the NHS as the waiting lists are so long.
I have three beautiful children. My little girl is now nearly ten years old and is doing brilliantly well. We are a close family, who has been able to develop and cope with what has gone on in our lives thanks to MAF giving us their most valuable support.