Increasing public awareness of child abuse through media coverage, documentaries, films, study discussion programmes and setting up Child Help lines throughout the world has focused attention on the many children who suffer from the abusive behaviour of some despicable adults.
The emphasis has been justly directed towards the children and much of the available resources are being poured into the training of social workers, mental health professionals and police to provide effective intervention when childhood abuse is disclosed or reported.
While the concentration of resources and focus on children is necessary and of fundamental importance, it is sometimes ignored by both professionals and the public that children who are currently, or until relatively recently, being abused, will eventually grow up into adults.
Those children who have benefited from positive therapeutic intervention may have been able to repair much of the damage resulting from child abuse so that they are able to lead healthy and well-adjusted adult lives, but those who were not provided with positive therapeutic intervention, or who never disclosed the secret of the abuse, may remain deeply scarred. The hidden scars of childhood abuse may stay with these victims throughout their lives.
The scars of childhood abuse are often deeply buried, or hidden, and cannot be seen on the surface. They often penetrate deep inside the psyche of the child where they have the propensity to influence and direct behaviour both in the childhood and adulthood. This often results in destructive behaviour patterns and inhibits the survivor from being able to live a free, mentally healthy or satisfying life. Many survivors feel permanently scarred and damaged by the abuse, and believe themselves to be unable ever to heal from the experiences, much less lead a happy or normal life. So this is why HAVOCA wants to challenge these ideas and provide the help, support and guidance necessary to help victims start their healing journey.