Sex Abuse Cases: Helping Kids Heal

With recent news of local child sex assault cases, more and more kids are coming forward about abuse.  Patsy's House is helping young victims cope during their healing process.

Keri Goins, Executive Director of Patsy's House Children's Advocacy Center said,  "Children grow up playing teacher and super heroes.  They don't grow up playing sexual abuse so they don't have words for what's happened to them."

For young victims of sexual abuse, communicating is the most important part of getting help. Depending on the age of the child it can also be the most difficult.

"The child has probably been scared to tell so they need affirmation that telling is a good thing to do," said Goins.

She says the first step is looking at the child's family support.  "That gives a big indication on how well the child is going to do down the road."

If a child has a solid support system at home, that can help them cope.  Goins also says creating an environment where the child feels safe to share their story can help them begin to heal.

"We do that a lot through play therapy and art therapy," she said, "It gives them the opportunity to share their experience."

The center can also help adults be on the look out for warning signs of abuse.

Goins said, "Children acting out sexually in ways that they shouldn't have any idea about yet, children who are scared to be alone with a certain person, children who are bed wetting, children who are having nightmares at night" are all red flags of possible sexual abuse.

Parents who feel uncomfortable talking to their children about possible abuse, can use Patsy's House for support Goins added.  "We can walk them through the process of how they can talk to their children."

With recent back to back trials dealing with local child sex abuse cases, they have seen a steady increase in the amount of child abuse outcries.

Taelor Rian, Newschannel 6.