Child abuse and neglect are serious public health issues with long-term impacts on the general well-being of a person. It has been reported in the US that 1 in 7 children will go through some form of abuse before reaching the age of 18 by a caregiver or another person in a guardian role. The abuse can range from simple neglect to emotional, physical, and even sexual abuse.
Children who are abused and neglected later face mental issues, increasing their chances of falling into a life of crime, violence, and substance abuse. They could be dealing with anxiety, stress disorders, and learning disabilities. All these factors then decrease their chances of getting good employment, which perpetuates the cycle of abuse in many cases.
In many cases, the abuse goes unreported and we as a community fail to stop it. Many times, the abusers go unpunished for some reason. So, the best we can do is to take care of those victims of child abuse and help heal their wounds so they could move on in their lives from dark times. Several government agencies are working on the rehabilitation of people who went through child abuse but still it’s not enough due to the huge economic burden child abuse imposes on the country. For this reason, many non-profit organizations are working to heal and empower victims of child abuse.
One such case has been reported in Canada, where a non-profit called Survivors Supporting Survivors has dedicated its resources to helping survivors of childhood abuse. It is led by Andy Bhatti who is himself an abuse survivor. He was abused for 4 years since the age of 10 by his mentor in a youth mentorship program. Consequently, he fell into a life of violence and substance abuse. He spent time in jail as well as on the streets till he was 27. But then he decided to turn around his life when he heard he was about to become a father. He left his life of drugs and alcohol and focused on his rehabilitation. That is also when he decided to start this organization as a voice for sexual abuse survivors.
Survivors Supporting Survivors hold charity events and raise awareness to collect funds for therapy of victims of abuse. They funnel these donations to Canadian agencies which then provide therapy services to abuse survivors. They feel by reaching out to these survivors they can heal their trauma and let them be free of their hurt.
The founder Andy has worked hard to stay sober against alcohol for which he was awarded Courage to Comeback Award in the addiction category. Now he is a spokesperson for awareness against addiction abuse and alcoholism. He and his team work actively to collect donations for communities across Canada and Andy is also a certified child abuse prevention facilitator in Vancouver. He promotes the healing of survivors through other survivors as well as through professional help.
If you have a loved one suffering consequences of childhood abuse, please don’t hesitate to reach out to http://supportingsurvivors.ca/ for a healthy recovery. Also, send them a message if you’re willing to donate to their cause.
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