Lifelong Journey After Severe Child Abuse

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Lifelong journey after severe Child Abuse

Child Abuse victims find help and hope with counseling

MESA, AZ  –  The gruesome details of a 3-year-old being duct taped and locked up in a closet while her mother’s friend offered her up for sex are difficult to comprehend.

The questions that now come to mind are “What is next for this 3-year-old?” and “How will she get through this?”  For those who work in child crisis and intervention teams throughout the Valley, there is a key word that resonates — healing.

“For a child who has endured severe trauma, it is a life long journey of healing most often,” says Maureen Basenberg, director at Childhelp’s Children Center.  The center serves as not only the initial intake agency for interviewing and assessing the children, but it also serves as a therapy and mental health center for 120 children every month.

“That’s why it is important that this little girl was found and that it can be explained that she did nothing wrong; that she is a whole capable little girl just like any other 3-year-old would,” adds Basenberg.

The center is also house to a Phoenix Police officer who is assigned to child abuse cases.  During our interview on Tuesday, Basenberg explained that therapy and mental health are the key to getting anyone who has had a traumatic experience to heal and overcome the pain.  She explained that in many cases, the parent’s of the children who are abused were victimized themselves in the past.

“I think we often think that a person who is sexually abused will become a perpetrator.  It is more likely that the person who is abused is not capable of protecting their own kids when that time comes, and that is how the cycle repeats itself,” she adds.

Getting rid of the cycle is a problem for all.  Basenberg says it is crucial for you, as a total stranger, to call police or the national hotline for Childhelp at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

“I think walking away is the worst thing we can do.  We all bear the responsibility that our children are safe.  When we walk away, we put the responsibility on the child.”

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