About Us

Every Survivor has the right to become a Thriver

havocaWe provide support, friendship and advice for adults who have been affected by childhood abuse. If this is the first time you have visited this site, and would like to learn about HAVOCA, 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.

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 its 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?

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 whatever you like, whenever 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.

Our mission statement:

To be the best resource for adult victims of child abuse available to anyone, worldwide. HAVOCA.

29 Responses to About Us

  1. Susan Blake says:

    To whom it may concern,

    I have been suffering for many years to cope with being sexually abused from the age of 9 and by more than one person. I believe that these people are not alive now but still I cannot feel any relief from this fact. I recently asked for help through a counsellor via my GP but was told that there is no funding for help from anything that happened previously to myself. I feel very let down by this and feel that I will n=
    ever understand why this happened or ever get over it. I have lost contact with family members due to this and feel so alone. My esteem is so low and I just don”t know which way to turn. Please could you help me
    in this matter. Even if it is just to guide me in the right direction please.

    Kind Regards
    S B

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

      Thank you for your comment. We have contacted you privately via the email address you provided (if you havent received anything yet, you might like to check your spam folder). Feel free to contact us directly and privately.

      It is very unusual for funding not to be available. Our advice would be to ask to see another GP and demand a referral to see a counsellor. At the very least you should receive one session so that you can be assessed, thereafter you are entitled to six free sessions before a further assessment (I’m assuming you are based in the UK). Of course, the assessment goes both ways – you may find you personally don’t need anymore sessions or you feel you arent making any progress. The counsellor will walk you through the service at each stage – you won’t be alone.

      We would also recommend joining our forums. There are 3000 members who have all gone through similar pasts and will be able to walk alongside you as you start your recovery.

      Feel free to reply here, publically, or privately using the contact form.

      • Jodie Sewell says:

        I just wanted to back up the lady – in that GP’s are failing to provide assessments and or counselling to rape/and or child sexual abuse survivors who directly ask for help.

        I experienced the same thing. And when I pointed it out to another doctor at the surgery sometime later, voicing this disappointment, I was treated as if I must of got it wrong!

        Like the lady above I did not know what to do – so through myself into a psychology degree not really knowing what I let myself in for – and having no education beyond 12 years old.

        Needless to say fast forward a few years – I got some help from the OU – and have got three modules left before I complete my degree! I still have not accessed the help I need through the GP, but being at university gave me the opportunity to gain some support and take on other routes – albeit how hard it was.

        My advice to the lady keep going and keep looking – I lost touch with my own family too – and still have not got any relationship with them – despite knowing where they are.

        I wish you the best in your healing journey. I am on my own journey to healing too.

  2. James Cook says:

    To the poster above, thank you for your testimony.

    I also was a victim of a pedophile in the UK when I was 13 years old, and I cannot even begin to describe how totally devastating it was in my life. for over 30 years the incident has replayed in my mind almost every day, and has got worse over time… it NEVER goes away.

    I am so glad that now finally in the UK victims are coming forward in their thousands to tell their stories of these terrible crimes.

    I am now reading the Bible and attending Church, and praying for the person who did this to me… I am also watching sermons from Billy Graham on the internet, it helps me.

  3. Richard Douglas says:

    I have just found your website and have been reading through it. My earliest memories of childhood are of violence from my father — closed fist, military web belt, kicks, punches, stompings, beatings with wire hangers, verbal abuse — which continued until I was about 13 or 14. My mother never intervened. These experiences haunt me every day, up to and including today (I am 57 now). I read Simon Wiesenthal’s The Sunflower and have decided that while I am apparently unable to forgive my father (deceased for more than 25 years) for what he did to me, I can ask our Lord to forgive him. Sometimes I feel quite alone.

  4. Naomi says:

    I searched for a forum for survivors in Australia and so far this seems to be the only one, I may find others eventually.

    I was sexually abused by 3 men at different times over about 5 years about 60 years ago. I believe that has been the root of many health and relationship problems.

    At last my husband is prepared to investigate ways to understand and help my ‘thriving’, lovely thought. Do you know of a forum for the spouses of survivors he can join, preferably an Australian one, but any web addresses would be appreciated.

    Thank you,

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

      Not a specific one in Australia but did you know our forums have a special section for partners,loved ones and friends of survivors? You can find them here.

    • Kylie Russon says:

      There is help in Australia, your first port of call is http://www.asca.org.au/ ASCA can provide some support and signpost you to other services. They do workshops too. I haven’t had any direct involvement.

      There’s an organisation called Heal for Life. They are controversial but have helped many people. I am in two minds as to whether they are safe for me to recommend to you, they do work in the UK too and worth looking into but do your research. They are very Christian based but don’t advertise that fact, so bear in mind that might not be your thing, or it may well be.

      Both offer support for family members of survivors too

      I was abused in Tasmania, the abuse started 40 years ago when I was 3 and went on for 8 years. I am now living in the UK.

  5. anonymous says:

    Hi
    After a lot of thought and consideration I am sharing my situation here.I am 27 year old muslim girl from Pakistan and have suffered from sexual child abuse by at least 4 individuals between the age of 8 to 20.Worst part being one of them is my uncle, my moms brother.Even after telling my mother what her brother did to me she took no action and did not try to protect me in anyway.My family is conservative and think more about their respect in society than to acknowledge or support me.Many times in my childhood I have been beaten up by my father with belts and all. I tried to seek comfort out but I wasn’t allowed anywhere.Once my dad found out that i went out with a friend from college I was locked up in a room and he tried to kill me with a knife if it wasn’t for my mom who dragged me out of that in time I wouldn’t be here sharing my story.I was confined in one room for 2 years straight with only limited interaction with anyone.All this that has happened to me and still is happening has left me scarred and emotionally drained. I don’t know how to feel or do anything in life I don’t have any purpose or any hope I still stay by myself in my room all day long.I can’t get help in this country what so ever considering our culture.The issue of sexual and child abuse is not addressed openly here and is considered tabooed. Today seeing the same uncle who abused me countless times in our house while my parents treating him so well made me realize I have no hope escaping my past and there is no hope for my future.The only way I see is to end my life because there is nothing that is going to make my situation better.I am stuck in one room for the rest of my life seeing the culprits roam freely and without any consequences .

    • Sparkleewater says:

      Dear Anonymous….
      I just have gotten on this site for the first time and reading your post has really touched my heart. I see that you wrote this a year ago and leaves me wondering how you are today. What has happened to you is horrific and totally with any excuse. Where do you live? I wonder if you are living in an area that would allow you to seek help to begin to take, even the smallest, of steps to understand that everything you speak of feeling here is understandable and normal for your life experiences. You are a very special gem, of great value, even though you have not been treated like so. I can hear from your sharing that you are very articulate. I did not experience the cultural support during my years of childhood abuse but did not receive protection from my mother or anyone that I reached out to. I grew up in a period of time that parents were always seen as right, even when my brother and I would call the police. I am currently 66 so it was many years ago. I feel so badly for you and wish and ask, prayerfully, for some thing or someone to be able to help you gain the courage to make some type of break from your family and from the room that is holding you captive. You are a creation from God and despite all that has happened to you, there is no other that has what you do, to offer this world. Will read forward to see if you have posted anything. Please know there are many that feel for you and hope that you have made your way out of the room and seeing some type of hope.

  6. Anne-Marie Grant says:

    Hello Anonymous,
    I was browsing this site and saw that your post had not been answered and I felt compelled to write something to you. What was done to you was so wrong and was not, in any way, your fault. The adults who should have been caring for you were either abusing you or ignoring the abuse. They have their own story, I cannot say what led them to act that way, but their attitudes and behaviour towards you were, quite literally, criminal. Because no one has acknowledged this to you, it seems that your mind is convincing you that you are somehow at fault and do not deserve or cannot find a better life for yourself, as an adult. What will make your situation better is to find help for your mind. And help is available, once you allow yourself to seek it. The people who abused and neglected you are not likely to change, so your escape from the effects of what they did to you can only come from you allowing yourself to escape. I repeat, you did nothing wrong, you do not deserve to be punished, you can allow yourself to escape. You can allow a therapist or a support group to help you. If you want to start off anonymously, start by emailing the Samaritans. Start by telling your story, over and over. It is the silent shame that is keeping you locked up. You have done so well by writing your story on this site.

  7. Debbie Campbell says:

    I am a 25 year old American seminary student. It is so hard to find people who truly understand and sympathize with survivors of spiritual abuse and Munchhausen Syndrome by proxy. I have a form of PTSD which I am learning to manage quite well.

    To sum up, my childhood churches and Christian homeschool circles made me think as if I was going to hell and God did not care. My mother made me sick via psychological, emotional, and spiritual abuse. She then came to my rescue to heal me but only harmed me more. She exaggerated, misdiagnosed, and fabricated sicknesses. She gossiped about them to the entire family, friends, counselors, and pastors. I was the family scapegoat and so learned to stay that way to avoid severe punishment.

    I have recently come out of those situations and am healing but it is slow. It is hard to find people who understand and have sympathy like they should. I am glad to try your site.

    I would like to see this site do more with spiritual and Munchhausen Syndrome by proxy abuse. There is simply not nearly enough study done on these deadly forms of abuse. And both are done behind closed doors, cause invisible wounding, and involve an insidious twisting of safe places so that they become unsafe. And the abusers are respected, smart, hard-working, nice leaders in their communities who are doing what they do out of love. And the person being abused is not easily believed especially because there are no hard facts and the abusers deny it and do gaslighting to get you to deny it too. And the abusers smile and play the hero while they torture you for your own good because you deserve it because you’re so sinful and disabled.

  8. Anon says:

    I’m broken I have been for over 30years I just hid it really well from the world and now for some reason just before my 35th birthday I could not longer keep the secret that I was abused for 2 yrs from the age of 5-7. It was a religious leader I reported the incident to the police and told my family.

    I thought I would feel better and in some ways I do but mostly it’s bringing things to the surface in the most painful ways. Memories I had long buried are coming up as if they happened yesterday.

    I feel like I have lost the will to live each day is a pure struggle to get up and get through the day.

    People who hurt children do not realise the mental damage they do – I don’t know how I’m going to get through the week. The police have been amazing but are managing my expectations after 30yrs they think it’s unlikely they will catch the man especially as I don’t know his name.

    I believe in God yet I was abused in the house of God. Why did this happen to me ? Everything happens for a reason/l – why does any child have to go through this? Will I ever ever be normal ? No one sees how broken you are inside but this is what happens when these monsters mess with little children.

    Sometimes I wish I was stronger other times I’m glad it was me and not another child.

    Why does anyone in this world have to suffer ? We just have to get on with life I guess although if I’m honest I feel the most checked out of life right now.

    I couldn’t keep the secret any longer but voicing it seems to have put me in a cave of shame, vulnerability and in many ways I just feel like that sad lost 5 yr old.

    To anyone reading this know that you are not alone – know that I have spent 3 decades feeling what you feel and that we can’t let these monsters win. We will get our justice one day

  9. Tanya says:

    Hi, im a 39 year old and im really struggling to cope with my past. I was sexually abused by both my foster father and step dad at different times from the age of 6 -13. My husband is always encouraging me to get some counselling as he feels it will be good for me to talk about it. I don’t cope well in one-one situations.
    I have lost all confidence in myself, I hardly go out. I dont mix with anyone as i feel i dont fit in. Even with family around me I have never felt so alone. Im having constant flashbacks seeing their faces. When i was 13 i told my mother and she said “I always wondered why you were always Daddy’s favourite” and asked me what i wanted to do about it and i just told her i wanted it to stop! It did. He still lived with us and things just carried on as normal. He died 15 years ago but i still dont feel free.

  10. Marianne Armit says:

    Hi everyone I have been so moved by your stories and that I don’t feel alone anymore. My father sexually abused me for a about a year when I was 13 after about 8 months I told my teacher who made me go to see her every week for a few months as I was scared and told her not to tell my mum she then took matters into her own hands and called my mum. My mum was devastated and reported my dad who was made leave the house and I stayed with an aunt for a week. When I came back we started seeing social work separately and as a family, after a while at one of the family meeting the social worker asked me if I wanted my dad home or to go to jail, I said home as I had two wee brothers to protect. I then spent the next 2 years in fear with a lock on my door until my mum put him out. For the next 25 years I had to pretend that we were the perfect family as nobody knew about the abuse and I had to play the dutiful daughter, he ruined every good life event I should have had because he was there. Then 8 years ago I decided I had had enough and told him I wanted no more contact with him, I even told my daughters about him which I didn’t want to do but had to. The following year it came out that he had abused my stepsister for 9 years and that’s when the police were involved and I found out he had never been charged for my abuse. There was a trial and he was convicted for abusing both of us but only received 2 years 8 months of which he served half. I thought that would be the end of it but it was just the lock on box where I hid all my emotions.Because of all those years of suppressing and pretending when an adult trauma happened ( my husband becoming symptomatic with Huntington’s disease) it triggered all of the emotions and I had a nervous breakdown as the box I had locked away my emotions in exploded and I could not handle it and contemplated suicide in December last year. I now have serious depression and anxiety, so bad that I have had to put my husband into a nursing home because I cannot care for him. I have been told I need one to one therapy but there is a waiting list. My local hospital has been great with help for relaxing and small courses to help manage my anxiety till I can get the therapy I need.

  11. Tammy Cardnial says:

    I just wanted to say that the same happened to me.Im not sure when it started i think i was6-7 and stopped when i was 12 my mom did find out when i was16.I got drunk i came home and told.Then i was shamed and told to say sorry for lying and i went along with it.There is nothing harder then passing the potatoes at the dinner table to him at ,pretending nothing happened.A couple yrs latter i lost it again this time my mom left but as a abuse victim herself she ended up going back.She had such a low self-esteem.She has been gone now for 2yrs.We are still pretending that we forgive him.He found god and a new wife who knows nothing about this.Im done with it. i am 51 now and still feel like that scared little girl.

  12. R A S says:

    Hello. My 20 year old, introverted son just started dating a 21 year old lady who is a victim of childhood sexual abuse. I really would appreciate some advice on how he should handle her sexual behavior. He is inexperienced and needs help figuring out how to make her feel safe before they would proceed to an intimate relationship. She puts rules out for him, but has a hard time sticking to her rules. How can he help her?

  13. betz says:

    I have been on the road to recovery a long time,people just don’t want to look at the subject of child Abuse. I attend 2 successtion.I was so hysterical ,the lady told me if I could not make it every week ,I was not to come back.I need the help so what do I do.

  14. Chelsea-Hotelly says:

    I grew up in a dysfunctional family and hardly spoke at home for the 19 years I resided their. My brother was the apple of my parents eye and spoilt, my sister was given lots to do around the house, verbally and physically abused. My middle sister was looked on in high esteem and I was the baby who was a silent observer.

    When I left home at 20 something told me to not look back. It worked for me. I barely saw my older sister but now see her quiet often and she is an emotional mess, what’s more she is having a strained relationship with her daughter despite giving her everything. My sister lets people walk all over her and then rants to me for hours-I recently told her to stop as it is energy sapping and unsetting. I feel bad for saying it but feel depressed for days after her visits. She is in low paid job poor health and despite been in her late 40’s is making same mistakes over and over and feels because she was socialized one way that it, she has health issues including mental health- I wantto get on with my life but don’t want to abandon her but she is stuck and does not want to climb/crawl out. All she talks about is who done her over for the 100th time. Mum has passed away, dad denies anything happened. Please help- what are your suggestions for her/us.

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

      The best piece of advice I can give you is to seek professional help. Using that support will help you both prioritise your issues and find a path that works for both of you. I sense you are both on different paths and need to disconnect from each other in order to move forward. That doesn’t mean you can’t support each other but it might mean you need different approaches. A therapist or counsellor will help you discover whats right for you.

  15. Peter says:

    Hi, my name is Pete
    Soon, I will be 60, and I suffer from bi-polar and borderline personality disorder, brought on I believe, because of childhood trauma. I am a very open, loving person with a very creative life. I have spent much of my adult life as an artist, with worldwide acceptance. Also I am very fortunate that my dear second wife of 17 years is understanding of my quite erratic emotions and actions. I have 4 wonderful children who are all successful in their own way, and two great step- kids.
    But there is, and always has been, a dark side to me. My young life, from perhaps 3 years old onwards was punctuated regularly by abuse. Some sexual, some physical, much of it emotional. Sexual abuse from family members, of both sexes. More of it from strangers. Sometimes I was forced to eat food that made me vomit. Sometimes I was locked in cupboards, or wooden boxes. Made to deeply fear evil spirits, and then made to walk and sleep in the pitch darkness. Made to go to bed, even in summer at a ridiculously early hour, not being allowed to read or talk, listening to the outside world of happier kids playing. Sometimes I would run away from home, and cut myself with broken glass, make up stories of kidnap. I drive long sewing needles under the skin of all my fingers. At times I was badly beaten with belts, black the next day from the middle of my back to the back of my knees.
    Yet I was a very quiet boy. I never spoke out of turn. I was never openly disobedient. Innocent. Docile. What did I do to deserve any of this? The answer of course is – nothing. My life as a result from my teenage years has been lived on the edge. I spent decades doing pretty extreme lone rock-climbing, and a hundred other dangerous things. By rights, I shouldn’t really still be alive. But I am. And I have learned to be reasonably ok with myself.
    The reason I have written just this fraction of my complex life is to let other sufferers, other innocent victims realise that you can come through your abuses, and possibly out the other side, and still be loved by many, many people. And love yourself, even a little. It all starts with trust.

  16. Phoenix says:

    I am, like the rest of us, facing the turmoil and pain caused by years of sexual abuse coupled with every day (intensity wise) emotional abuse. My father, for whatever reason took my body, almost from birth, to examine, torture, please (in his mind anyways!) and finally disregard as puberty didn’t appeal I suppose – thank F***. I am 43 and the last 4/5 years have been splattered with flashbacks, so I gradually reclaim the things that were too horrible to have lived with me for my whole timeline – if that makes to sense to others? I struggle with the experience of having flashbacks and living out my life along two timelines in the same breath. Its hard when the past its present inside me today, and it can push out the present and make it hard to embrace the moment and just enjoy (and get through) today!! I think am very resentful about the time that has been swallowed up as the past speaks to me, knocks me over, and enlightens me and frees me to understand myself for ….all of me…. that I am 🙁 It feels cruel that my time is eaten away for something that’s already happened and is actually my past. The irony is too cutting. I always want to know more and weirdly, welcome the flashbacks and insights. But I am tired at the length of time it takes, and so sad about about the time that has been taken, to learn about my deeply painful inner (true) existence. I am always also, impressed at how the ‘child’ that was me…. felt sooooo richly (more ironies!). Sooo completely, with intense maturity. I feel like some spiritual sage battled on within me during the days of my abuse. I wish I held that deepness of self today. And, can’t relate to the ‘thin’ (empty, not rich) me I am left with. Its like I’ve aged backwards. My maturity was used up before I got the chance to use it – as in, now I am mature I could do with the impressive relationship to life I held/knew so well. Today, life is literally, air; I feel myself as if I am always falling, my muscles are constantly failing, my mind just falters, my will is frozen and my feelings wither….like buds that manage to grow one petal but can’t/don’t flower and then wither off and die. Yes, I’m sad. I’m lost. And, despite this depressing read. I want nothing more than to find myself, to find life, to succeed and not doubt and second (third, and fourth) guess and endlessly question (shut down) myself. I write here. Today, in an attempt to start finding out who I am. What I am made of inside. I wonder if I can know, what exists – before the pain grew so thick and deep inside me… – how do I move, how do I work? I want what was. I want the feelings that made me, me, to have lived their natural life. I died. I fought a really good fight for many years. But, be it age 6 or so……the spirit, the flame the connection I held to life. It was taken from me. They take this from you. It might be a long road back. … but maybe these first steps. Maybe, just maybe….I can come back from the grave. I can hold hands with the the living – you? I can begin to know real life from the inside out, again. And, this time, I can enjoy it….. cause, me and life have a good thing going on really.

    Doesn’t this stuff just hurt us so?

    xxxxx

  17. woodskid says:

    Some twenty years ago, suffering acute clinical depression, I reached out to my family doctor. His first words were, “tell me about growing up Frank/” What a wise and gentle physician. We are only beginning to learn. I salute all professionals who are engaged in this field. My memoir intended for anyone who might want a glimpse into emotional and other abuses at a long ago orphanage home in Canada.

  18. Susan Evans says:

    How sad to read of so many people let down by the very people who should protect us and keep us safe..I too am a survivor of sexual/mental/physical/verbal…the list is endless..abuse…my father sexually abused me from the age of 5 to 13..my mother turned a blind eye to it..only to admit to me that she knew it was happening after he died.. but was too scared of him..as he used to beat her..in turn she would beat me..i grew up being told i was useless and would never amount to anything..I went on be a mother of 4 wonderful children..divorced..widowed..and now happily married with grandchildren and a great grandson..life is good..I am not writing this to gloat..i have had my personal struggles…but through it all i was determined not to let my abusive past ruin what was left of my future..I wanted to prove to myself that i was,nt the useless waste of space..that i was constantly told as a child/teenager/young adult…It certainly is,nt easy..but do we really want those evil people to take away the rest of our lives or are we going to take control of our destiny..We can be a voice and offer support and comfort to those who feel that they don,t deserve better..don,t let the abusers win…Suexx

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