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Welcome to HAVOCA.  We provide support, friendship and advice for any adult who's life has been affected by childhood abuse.  

If this is the first time you have visited this site please feel free to browse around and explore our hundreds of useful pages about the road to recovery.
HAVOCA's ethos believes that every single victim of abuse has the ability to survive and lead a more fulfilling life.  

Every Survivor has the right to become a Thriver.

Latest News
Image  Carrie has completed her sponsored climb of Mount Etna and in the process has managed to raise just under £2000 for HAVOCA.  What an incredible achievement.

Here's what she had to say about it:

So I did it, I achieved it :cheers:
All by myself, I went to the airport, met people I have never met before, spent 5 days laughing with them & getting to our goal - it was really really great!
My little Havoca blanket, courtesy of Irene & Hunny came with me, & a special friendship bracelet too. & so far I have raised just under £2000 for all of us :cheers: A big thank you to everyone from here who sponsored me!
I had some lovely messages via Irene - it was so lovely to know you all knew what I was up to, & to feel that someone was interested in what I was doing & how I was getting on - that meant so much. :love4:

I'm quite pleased with myself really :oops:

We are really proud of your achievements Carrie and a big thank you from everyone at HAVOCA for an outstanding fund raising effort!


 For some time now our ethos at HAVOCA has been 'Every Survivor has the right to become a Thriver.' These very words cause some pretty powerful reactions.  Visitors to the site appear to like the phrase, but are confused by it's meaning.  The sentence represents a place where they want to be, but they are at a loss as how to get there.  Members of our site seem to suffer the same confusion.  Although they can associate with the words 'victim' and 'survivor' they tend to lose perspective of what it would be like to 'thrive'. Some members even refuse to believe it is possible to thrive, almost as if surviving is all that is possible.  And why shouldn't surviving be a good place to be?

I found this on the WWW not so long ago and thought it would give sense to the 'labels' often associated with healing.  It also provides some answers to some frequently asked questions, like, 'Will I ever be better?' or 'How do I become a Thriver'

From Victim to Survivor to Thriver




Doesn’t deserve nice things or trying for the "good life." Struggling for reasons & chance to heal Gratitude for everything in life.
Low self esteem/shame/unworthy Sees self as wounded & healing Sees self as an overflowing miracle
Hyper vigilant Using tools to learn to relax Gratitude for new life
Alone Seeking help Oneness
Feels Selfish Deserves to seek help Proud of Healthy Self caring
Damaged Naming what happened Was wounded & now healing
Confusion & numbness Learning to grieve, grieving past aggrieved trauma Grieving at current losses
Overwhelmed by past Naming & grieving what happened Living in the present
Hopeless Hopeful Faith in self & life
Uses outer world to hide from self Stays with emotional pain Understands that emotional pain will pass & brings new insights
Hides their story Not afraid to tell their story to safe people. Beyond telling their story, but always aware they have created their own healing with HP
Believes everyone else is better, stronger, less damaged Comes out of hiding to hear others & have compassion for them & eventually self Lives with an open heart for self & others
Often wounded by unsafe others Learning how to protect self by share, check, share Protects self from unsafe others
Places own needs last Learning healthy needs (See Healing the Child Within & Gift to Myself) Places self first realizing that is the only way to function & eventually help others
Creates one drama after another See patterns Creates peace
Believes suffering is the human condition Feeling some relief, knows they need to continue in recovery Finds joy in peace
Serious all the time Beginning to laugh Seeing the humour in life
Uses inappropriate humour, including teasing Feels associated painful feelings instead Uses healthy humour
Uncomfortable, numb or angry around toxic people Increasing awareness of pain & dynamics Healthy boundaries around toxic people, incl. relatives
Lives in the past Aware of patterns Lives in the Now
Angry at religion Understanding the difference between religion & personal spirituality Enjoys personal relationship with the God of their understanding
Suspicious of therapists-- projects Sees therapist as guide during projections Sees reality as their projection & owns it.
Needs people & chemicals to believe they are all right Glimpses of self-acceptance & fun without others Feels authentic & connected, Whole
"Depression" Movement of feelings Aliveness

 ©Barbara Whitfield 2003

HAVOCA's ethos, 'Every Survivor has the right to become a Thriver', isn't supposed to dictate a route for your journey, it isn't even supposed to inspire you on that voyage.  The phrase simply gives you the right to be what ever you like, when ever you want to be it. There are no time limits or milestones to achieve on the healing path.  Each day can be taken one step at a time; no one will criticise or comment if you stand still for a while, you can even look back if you like. Your journey is 'yours' and yours alone, however, here at HAVOCA, as you take each step, we'll be here right behind you.

Book of the Month 

The Survivors Guide to Sex: How to Have an Empowered Sex Life After Child Sexual Abuse (Paperback) by Staci Haines

Book Description
Based on the author's extensive training and experience in working with abuse survivors, The Survivor's Guide to Sex offers an affirming, sex-positive approach to recovery from incest and rape. While most books on the topic broach sexuality only to reassure women that it is alright to say "no" to unwanted sex, this one encourages women to learn how to say "yes" to their own desires and on their own terms. Points of discussion include problems common to women survivors. Haines teaches survivors to embrace their own sexual choices and preferences, learn about their own sexual response cycles, and heal through masturbation, sexual fantasy, and play. The Survivor's Guide to Sex includes resources, bibliography, and an index.

From the Back Cover
"What a terrific book! Every survivor needs this encouraging, down-to-earth guide-and the joy of freely-chosen, healthy sexual pleasure."-Ellen Bass, co-author, The Courage to Heal: Move over abuse, and move in pleasure! The Survivor's Guide to Sex is for all women-heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian, partnered and single-who want to delight in their own sexuality. Based on the author's extensive training and experience in working with abuse survivors, The Survivors Guide to Sex offers a complete guide to sexual recovery: Pleasure and Desire- How to discover and fully own your desires on your own terms. Non-judgmental support for all sexual styles and interests. Dissociation- Discover how you "checked out" to survive and how you can "check in" now for healing and your own sexual expression. Embodied Sex- No more grocery lists and wrestling matches with relics of the past! Learn how to be in your body during sex, present for yourself and your partners. Consent and Boundaries- The "yes," "no," and "maybe" of sex. How to say "yes" to your desires and develop boundaries to take care of yourself. Triggers- A sex life built around triggers becomes no sex life at all. Practical tools for healing through triggers while enjoying all the delights and complexities of a fully-embodied sex life. Sex Information- Chock full of sex-positive information on all aspects of sexual response, masturbation, and partner sex, tailored to the needs of survivors.

Visit our bookshop.

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Sexual Abuse Guide

PROUD TO BE ME is a survival guide for victims of childhood sexual abuse, written by HAVOCA and The Lantern Project. Click on the book to find out how to order

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