We believe children can heal from abuse with support and trauma-informed services The Center for Hope and Healing Inc. provides.
There are no other services in our area for children and youth who have experienced sexual abuse.
Children are typically referred to CHH for services
by the child’s caretaker or service provider. Youth
often call our hotline directly to seek support. A
CHH trauma-informed children’s counselor completes
an assessment to render the best appropriate care
for the child. The counselor then meets with the
parent/caregiver and the child individually and
collaboratively as needed so they can express
themselves and learn coping mechanisms to manage stress and trauma. Through toys, age appropriate games, and creative expressive
activities, the counselor and child explore concepts of
healthy behaviors, safety, boundaries, and resilience.
If you are a caregiver, provider, or teacher and you would like to make a referral for someone click the button below or call 978-452-7721 for more information.
Referral for Counseling
What is Child Sexual Abuse?
Child sexual abuse is any sexual activity with a child. Sexual abuse may involve physical contact or penetration or non-physical contact such as exhibitionism, voyeurism, and child pornography.
Child sexual abuse, like other forms of sexual violence, is about power and control. Abusers can manipulate victims to stay quiet about the sexual abuse using a number of different tactics. Often an abuser will use their position of power over the victim to coerce or intimidate the child.
What are warning signs of Child Sexual Abuse?
Child sexual abuse isn’t always easy to spot. Direct physical signs of sexual abuse are not common. The perpetrator could be someone you’ve known a long time or trust, which may make it even harder to notice. Consider the following warning signs:
Adapted from RAINN.
Prevention: Talking About Consent and Boundaries
Talking about these issues is a lifelong conversation for parents and their children. These are some
examples of specific messages parents can give to help prevent unhealthy relationships and sexual
assault, or know what to do if something happens.
8 years old or younger:
listening to each other.”
makes you uncomfortable, or touches your penis or vagina, tell them
no and to stop. If they won’t stop, tell an adult like me or (another
9-11 years old:
even when they disagree with each other.”
you can tell them ‘I don’t want to do that. Let’s do something else
not ok and it’s not your fault. Come talk to me if anything like that
happens to you or a friend”
12-14 years old:
relationship? What wouldn’t be OK with you?”
people we love, but can also lead to miscommunication, spreading
gossip, or following where you’re going (stalking).”
to do anything they don’t want to do.”
They are always the fault of the person who committed the crime.”
15-18 years old:
wanted by both of you. You always need to ask for consent if you want
to have sex, and you always have the right to say yes or no to sex.”
to know if they’re consenting or not.”
sexually assaulted. If you or one of your friends is ever in that situation,
you can go there, and of course you can always come to me for help.”
Adapted from Planned Parenthood.
A Children’s Advocacy Center (“CAC”) provides a comprehensive, culturally competent, multi-disciplinary team response to allegations of child abuse in a dedicated, child-friendly setting. A CAC brings together members of the child protection, law enforcement, prosecution, victim advocacy, medical and mental health communities to provide child victims and their non-offending family members with comprehensive services designed to meet their individual needs.