Child abuse doesn't 'just happen'
With Letting the Future In, children have a chance to talk about their abuse experiences and to express themselves through creative therapies. These sessions enable the children to safely work through past experiences and come to understand and move on from what has happened.
The evaluation found that the proportion of children receiving the service who experienced the highest levels of trauma reduced from 73% at the start of the programme to 46% after six months.
At the tertiary prevention stage, when sexual abuse does occur, we must be ready to provide the expert help that children need to deal with trauma. With high-quality therapeutic support, children and young people can rebuild their lives. Where we have already failed to protect children from abuse, we cannot fail them again by ignoring the impact that abuse has on their lives.
Timely help and support is important preventative work because it can also increase resilience and break the cycle of abuse. If left unaddressed and unrecognised, abuse can be perpetuated. It can become tacitly accepted and seen as something that ‘just happens’ in some families or communities.
We know that child abuse is not inevitable; we can prevent child sexual abuse before it occurs. It will require effort from all areas of society, and it is up to all of us to help prevent child sexual abuse from happening.