HAVOCA Survey

HAVOCA SurveyHAVOCA Survey

Please help us to collect child abuse statistics so that we can support our growing database that informs, educates and provides insight into the challenging world of victim care. Your results are completely anonymous and the data collected will only be shared with genuine organisations and trusts without any connection to the individuals who helped compile the information. You can find HAVOCA’s Privacy Policy here.

The latest results can be found here.

There are a total of twenty five multiple choice questions with the option for comments at the bottom of the page.  The HAVOCA survey should take between 5 – 10 mins to complete. *Asterix mark a compulsory question.

HAVOCA Survivors Survey - Questions

Please make sure you are safe after completing our questionnaire.  The results are published annually (or as required).  To receive a copy of the results when they are next issued please subscribe to our mailing list.

53 Responses to HAVOCA Survey

  1. little lost one says:

    The sexual abuse was by a doctor. I thought I was just over when I got to the drug and alcohol years. After nightmares and panic in 14th year of sobriety, I sought therapy specifically for the abuse issues. There were numerous depression, anxiety, and drug problems prior to that. I thought I had suppressed it until I drove across town by the office where it happened.
    I was also short, and bullied by brother and what I thought were friends. I always got so high to where I didn’t care. I am happily married and sober today, but still tend to be very uncomfortable around men bigger than me. HAVOCA has been so helpful Thank you so much.

    • Loisita Rodriguez says:

      I am a survivor of childhood into adulthood sexual, emotional, physical and mental abuse. My bio-mom gave me away to a pedophile and his family when I was 11 years old. Before that I had been raped and molested by family members and my moms boyfriends. I still have no recollections of certain years of my life, there are pictures but I don’t remember being there. I can remember some faces but no names. I can’t sleep and I can never complete a project. I can’t hold a job and I am becoming more and more afraid to leave my home. I recently relocated and am far away from my bio-mom and my soon to be ex-husband who by the way are still very close. I am the outsider in that relationship. I am looking to tell my story so that it can help others in their personal healing.

  2. David Pecora Junior says:

    I’m scared to leave my home to social gatherings. I quit going to church cause I feel cursed. When the holidays come around my birthday does as well baring it’s teeth like an angry dog. The phone calls start, my anxiety gets the best of me, panic attacks appear like seizures. Talking to a therapist has had little success cause I wear a mask and hide behind obsidian walls. The only light I find is through constant prayer that God will take me back home.

  3. agentwxyz says:

    This survey seems to be more appropriate for physical or sexual abuse rather than emotional/psychological abuse

  4. Me says:

    It has been 30 years since I reported the emotional, psychological, physical and sexual abuse I endured from birth to almost 14 by my father. I have healed & overcome many of the issues stemming from the abuse, yet I still have many, some of which I’m aware of some I am not. I don’t believe I will ever be completely healed because the abuse occurred at such an early age & lasted for so many years much of which I don’t remember. Though that doesn’t mean I have a horrible life or that I live in pain. Forgiveness was important for me because right or wrong I felt guilt, responsibility and shame for the abuse. By forgiving him I was able to forgive myself, which makes it easier to accept my flaws. It made it easier to accept that my father was who he was, some good some bad and some very ugly. I embrace the good, accept the bad & deal with the pain the ugly caused. When I make a connection between a certain behavior and the abuse I decide whether to change it or not and go from there. It’s not so big & overwhelming if you take it a little bit at a time, If my abuse hadn’t happened I wouldn’t be who I am, and I like who I am it doesn’t matter that I’m a work in progress, just means I’m more interesting than most.

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

      I love the sentiment of your comment – thank you. There is hope for all survivors.

      Forgiveness is an emotive topic. I am a big advocate of forgiveness, although I don’t sign up to forgiveness of the abuser…..I am more focused on forgiving the child victim and the adult survivor within.

      • Graham Weaver says:

        forgiveness sets you free and forgiveness for the abuser is absolutely essential, however hard. I know a woman who forgave her father for abusing her and is living the most wonderful and love filled life. it is a process and journey, for sure, but I’m not sure that advocating non-forgiveneness is very helpful considering that some may wish in their hearts to forgive and may be put off by your words, thus carrying around more resentment and anger that they so long to release

        • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

          Forgiveness for the abuser is not absolutely essential for everyone. If a victim wants to forgive their abuser or reach a place where they can forgive them then that should be encouraged for them but if a victim doesn’t feel able, now or ever, then they should not be made to feel they have to. It isn’t essential.

          • AlisonSibbald says:

            Thank you thank you, I am so relieved to hear you say it is not essential, I was encourage 35 years ago to forgive my brother for the sexual abuse but I can’t even today I can’t forgive him for what he did and always felt bad for not being able to do that forvall these years, I maybe now can let it go and forgive myself for not being able to do it, thank you, means the world to me,

    • lyla says:

      wow so strong and wise. I think u are healed its just a few residual splinters that come up.

      • Ann Bonnewell says:

        I have forgiven everyone. I think the previous generation were damaged after ww1 and their pre generation were strict with them. Children weren’t viewed generally as being worth full. It seems to have been normal then so why am I complaining. Mine is trivial compared to some so why has it affected ed me so much. If I’d had more confidence as teenager I would have done what I really want d to despite my father and mother begging me not to. Despite what has happened I have achieved much more than any in my family and a lot of people. Many amazing things as well so my life hasn’t been wasted. My main sadness is that both my sons have had councelling after suffering PTSD, anxiety depression for various reasons. Is there anyone normal? Is there a normal?

  5. Brittany says:

    I was also sexually abused by a doctor. They should have that as an option on the survey.

  6. Ellen Wilson says:

    I am almost 55 now and the effects of abuse still come up and effect me. I hate this so much. The fear he put in me all those years and the stuff he put me through I have had therapist to say they are suprised I am still here. Even though I wanted to leave this world there has always been someone to step in and help me. I have worked hard to heal, and I am still fighting to heal. One gets tired.

  7. elaine says:

    I am 55. I have worked through my whole life trying to overcome my first 16 years. I have had help and I have gained strength.People might consider me successful and strong. But I still have a corner in my soul that can be broken into. I want to recover. I want to be just me without the background. I desperately want this never to happen to another child. I can’t bear the fact that it will. My love and encouragement goes out to all of you who have had this unjust treatment by people who should see children as small adults to nurture, not to destroy for their own gratification.

  8. Erika says:

    I am now 40 and I never thought that I’d live to see 30. My abuse consumed the first 20 years of my life and I paid the price for the second 20 years of my life. I have been self destructive in every way. I have attempted suicide multiple times. I have abused drugs and alcohol. I spent 20 years self harming and now wear scars for the world to see. I never feel joy. My soul is somewhat dead. I have glimpses of what could have been, what could still be. Those glimpses give me hope. I know what went wrong. I’ve stopped hating my abusers because it was stealing my life from me. I’m learning to love myself. I figure I spent the first half of my life trying and wishing to die; I think I’ll spend the last half learning to live.

  9. Karen says:

    The assaults happened in my home when I was 13; I am now 63. I buried the memories until I was in my early thirties when the memories resurfaced, perhaps because I was planning my wedding. The abuser was my father’s boss, and I never told my parents because I was afraid they would blame me. They died over 30 years ago without me telling them. Five years ago I tried to locate the abuser via the internet. I wanted to confront and humiliate him by taking a picture of him with a sign around his neck that said “Sexually preys on children” and send to the local newspaper. Unfortunately, I could not find any information. Two weeks ago, I found a picture of his gravestone that was posted on the internet in 2013. I’m trying to find closure 50 years after the abuse and want to post the picture online as a way to publicly humiliate his name. His wife and daughter (who I suspect was sexually abused by him) are also deceased, so innocent family members would not be affected. I guess I’m still afraid there will be legal repercussions even though I am the victim of this man’s selfish desires.

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

      I feel your pain but revenge isn’t always the best option. Perhaps you should look inwards to deal with the pain rather than waste emotional effort on the scum who abused you.

  10. twinkles reynolds says:

    I’ve been sexually abused by my grandfather when I was very young. Can’t remember how long I was abused. Every time my parents will leave me with my grandfather when they have to go work or go on dates, I know what will happen every time. He died when I was young. As he was being carried downstairs ( he was having a hard time breathing and will be taken to a hospital ), I never shed a tear. That’s the last time I saw him alive. But until now, after so many years, I still feel angry.

  11. lost & alone says:

    I just turned 40. My whole life I have pretended it didn’t happen, that it didn’t happen to me. I kind of remember it like a dream or a movie. If I start to talk about it or something comes up about sexual abuse, I break down. I had jurry duty and the guy was accused of abusing his step daughter. I shook like a leaf and cried like an idiot. The judge dismissed me, apologized to me and hoped I could get help. I felt like a fool. Now they think I have Borderline Personality Disorder. The abuse only happen one time and I can’t even remember it clearly. It seems the older I get the more issues I have. Shouldn’t it be the opposite? Why is this troubling me so much more now, and why is it making me so angry at myself? I find what David P. said so perfect. The only comfort is praying God will take me home.

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

      No, absolutely not. Why should it be the opposite.

      If you broke your leg and never had any surgery or corrective medical help, would it get better or would it continue to cause you more and more problems? mental health issues are the same. Time is a good healer if you put the correct healing processes in place. Denial and avoidance are not the correct tools to use.

      You arent alone though! Sadly thousands of people go through this and happily many recover to lead full and happy lives. Have you seen out forums? You might like to join and meet like minded people.

      • Mel says:

        Hi there.

        I for one am suffering the same way that you are.

        I have buried and forgotten about things that happened to me when I was growing up, so much so that I now question whether or not these things actually did happen or if its a fragment of my imagination.

        One thing I know for sure is that I am struggling to cope with my own behaviour and my feelings towards those closest to me and I, like you, can’t really understand why this is happening now after so long of getting on with my life.

        I have spoken to my GP today and have hopefully put the wheels in motion to finally start talking about my childhood and hopefully start mending those broken areas that I’ve neglected for so long.

        I am finding reading other peoples encounters very reassuring, life can be horrible sometimes but how we deal with it and move on to be better people because of it makes our world a better place so thank you for sharing your story with me.

      • AlisonSibbald says:

        Thank you for the above, where can I find your forums please

  12. Joan Maccarrone says:

    Your website has too little subscribers for me to feel comfortable here. People with C-PTSD like to feel alone. This is too close for comfort. I like to get lost in a crowd. I am at home in the middle of a wash of people flowing like the tide, with enormously tall buildings surrounding me. I come from NYC where you can be a grain of sand on a million shores.

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

      I’m sorry you feel like that. The beauty of the internet is that it is so anonymous, so actually you could look at it differently by seeing the small number of subscribers versus the huge number of people surfing the internet. Alternatively we have a huge online forum with over three thousand members that you might like to join.

  13. Julia_grove says:

    I am glad I found this site. I am 40 and I’m a wreck. Not only was I molested at 11 by a family friend, I grew up in such a dysfunctional family. I have a wonderful husband and daughter but I am still numb inside.

    My father was very physically and emotionally abusive. My mother is still with him and I cannot have a relationship with her or my disabled brother unless I go through my dad. He is the gatekeeper, all or none. It kills me but I suck it up… I just don’t have the courage to sever ties with my mom and brother. I will never be free.

  14. batman says:

    For years, I’ve made myself believed that the abuse that happened to me when I was a child had never had any effect on my psyche. I made myself believe it so much that during my teenage years I have almost forgotten about it. When I entered college, the Office for the Student Affairs gave an introductory program for the freshmen. They were offering free therapy for students. I was tempted to go but I didn’t because I was afraid that my brother and other relatives that goes to the same university would somehow know about it and cause a scandal. I kept everything to myself. Never told anyone. Never have the courage to do so. So I lied to myself and told me that I’m fine, that what they’re going to say in therapy would probably the same thing that I tell myself. It wasn’t until I saw my abusers get on with their lives with a smile on their faces that it hit me — I’m not over it. I kept questioning God why He allowed that to happen to me, why He didn’t stop it from happening, why my abusers are happy and well while I suffer from flashbacks. I didn’t get any answers, it could probably because I’m not listening or He just doesn’t have any. Either way, I’m still stuck. I still live with one of my abusers and the other one visits our house and is very welcome. I grin and bear with it or I just keep quiet. Will it ever end? I don’t know.

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

      Yes, it can end but it won’t happen all on its own. Labelling the process is difficult but you often hear words like ‘journey’ or ‘healing’. They sum up what needs to happen pretty well, you need to embark on a journey and along the way you need to focus on healing. It sounds easy, right? As you’ve probably guessed, it isn’t easy at all. The concept is straight forward but the effort and resilience that is needed along the way is a tough battle. This site will hopefully give you some ideas and guidance. Our forums are a great place to find support too.

  15. Still Anonymous... says:

    My parents are divorced but my dad still lives near my mom, knowing that I will go there. His wife and my mom’s new husband also have found ways to harm me. Additionally, due to my dad’s volatile personality, I do not know if I can stop seeing him despite being an adult. I’ve only just started to realize how terrible he is and was. I guess counselor number 4 is finally getting through. The counselor recently said I will probably never remember parts of my abuse (My memory has a gap of 2 years… and that gap starts 20 years ago). My brother, honest to a fault, remembers what happened and you can tell it still disturbs him. He’s only been able to say a few bits and pieces. Part of me wants to know so badly what happened, but a much larger part just wants to forget it so my brother wont have to relive it by telling me.

  16. Marie says:

    I hate that I belong here, but when your father was a pedophile and a sociopath, you have issues. I see that some people here have “forgiven”, but for me, I will not forgive. No repentance, no forgiveness. Forgiveness is mine to keep or to give, and I choose to keep mine reserved for those who have the decency and humanity to sincerely humble themselves and apologize. So no, I do not forgive my father or my mother or any other person who screwed up my life. My ability to be emotionally or physically intimate with another human being was destroyed. I never married, never had children, and never will have, what many take for granted, a warm and loving relationship. My damage is deep and irreparable. So no, I will not forgive. As my therapist put it, if I can get to indifference regarding my past, that will be my healing and I’ll gladly take it.

  17. lyla says:

    i agree with no repentance no forgiveness. However the problem is forgiveness it the door to healing. Its a problem i have been trying to deal with for many years. My solution to date is to pray for the bastards but I pray ‘May my abusers receive what they deserve’ vengence is mine says the lord I will repay!
    This is all i am capable of at this stage of my life. It maybe holding up my recovery but its all i can manage now.

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

      I believe that forgiveness can be one of the keys to open that door but it isn’t always necessary. Forgiveness doesn’t always be aimed at the abuser either. Forgiveness can be about forgiving the way you, as a survivor, coped with the past. Forgiving yourself for the negative coping mechanisms that you have brought with you into adult life. Forgiving those unhealthy ways and allowing yourself that acknowledgement.

    • sara coston says:

      I agree with you. Lyla that the abuser needs revenge.

  18. hjmarkowitz says:

    I was always so angry and crazy until i remembered again some abuse and weird times. Sexual abuse and all kinds of hateful emotional –physical and psych abuse. Different families. Once I was left out in a storm on a summer vacation that lasted too long. Ran into tornadoes out in a field all by myself, but the community took care of me for awhile. One should think of good things instead of bad. I think a lot of bad psyche doctors abuse unhappy patients with medicine that makes you sick. Bad shrinks suck!!

  19. Zelmion says:

    I think this questionnaire is a bit oversimplified already at the very beginning, and there’s no possibility to add own remarks. E.g. we are asked to mark what kind of abuse we faced, but there’s no clear definition what the words “physical” etc. mean. For example, what is the difference between “emotional” and “psychological” abuse? (Actually, is there any form of abuse that is not “psychological”? I think all kinds of abuse affect the psyche..) Is it “sexual abuse” if a teenage girl cannot avoid her father repeatedly needing to “accidentally” come to her room and start having a long talk while she’s changing? Is it “physical abuse” when a father is lifting his hand in a quite threatening way as if to hit but finally the hit actually doesn’t come, or when the father is smashing objects in his rage? This acts also deliver the message “I can do whatever I want and you have no chance to stand up against my will”, even though the father doesn’t even touch his kid…

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

      Thanks very much for your feedback. We are inclined to agree with you, especially as we fully understand the complexity of each definition and the subjective nature of the assessment each survivor needs to make to tick a box. What we are interested in is a broad estimate about the survivors own assessment rather than a detailed break down of the type of abuse they ‘actually’ suffered. Their own assessment marks the line in the sand – a more sophisticated, in depth analysis is not what this survey is about. Generalised numbers help organisations, like this one, focus their services in the right direction. The type of detailed analysis you are talking about is a more academic approach; I would hope we can aspire to that level of detail in the future once this ‘over-arching’ study has run its course.

  20. Ruth Ann Lowman says:

    I struggled with anger so many years of my life. I sought counseling several times in my life for life relationship issues. Of course the
    Issues with my father were mentioned. I have never specifically dealt with my life from 7-17 years old. And then I started making bad choices. My father died in 1970. I attended al-a-non group for 2 years and that was very helpful in many ways. But I still hurt inside.

  21. Tanice Nedd-Smith says:

    It’s so upsetting to know that there are evil and sick people out there that would abuse a child. My abuser was my nephew. The shock and sickness hit me all over again when I scrolled through to see there was no ‘nephew’ or ‘niece’ option to who the abuser was in the survey. Then again why would anyone suspect that a niece or nephew could abuse their younger auntie or uncle?

    I still suffer from depression, I feel I’ve been depressed since it happened when I was a child but it’s only coming to the surface now that I’m 22.

  22. I says:

    I was abused while in school by fellow school mates, it took me a longtime to realize that what they did constituted as abuse, and I’m still trying to get through it. What they did to me has had long term effects on me, and has ingrained behaviors into me that I’d really like to lose… I use to feel very alone because when I told someone nothing ever happened, so the trauma of having to tell them all of those embarrassing things that were done to me were for nothing. I’m still young and I have a full life ahead of me and I hope that even though what they did hurts me I this day, I can move past that trauma and have a life that I’m proud of, and I hope the same for everyone else here

  23. sharon says:

    I am worried about beginning the healing process because I fear the emotional effects may get worse.. I can’t stand to be touched some times, and just want to heal my tired mind and be “normal” . This has been a secret so long that i’m afraid talking about it may dredge up trauma.

  24. Veronica arsenault says:

    I was abused since i was 2 but it wasn’t till my moms boyfriend abused me that it was dealt with..we were taken into custody and my mother and him went on the run for 13 years.he got 7 years served 3.I was put in group home and all i wanted was to go back to new brunswick to live with my family but they didn’t want that so i ran away so they decided to put me in a mental hospital which i didn’t desever to be so instead of getting me help they locked me up and hes free for 13 years. i still havn’t got the help i needed. every theripist i seen didn’t want to deal with my past just my future makes no sense.I was also raped by an ordaly at the hospital and all they did was move him to anoher floor which i still got to see him when i had to go to eat.Yes i am very angry and depressed and think of killing myself all the time but according to the experts i don’t need help with my past just my future .

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