This April, we are encouraging Central Florida to ‘Go Blue’ and help spread awareness about the prevention of child abuse and the resources available at The Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families.
Healing with The Howard Phillips Center
Ciara’s daughter was just seven years old when her mom’s boyfriend started to sexually abuse her. Unfortunately, nothing about this story is uncommon. In fact, about 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday, and most know the perpetrator personally.
Opening up about her experience was not easy at first, but once she confided in her mom what had been happening, they were able to seek help at The Howard Phillips Center through their Healing Tree program. The Healing Tree provides assistance for any child who has experienced sexual or physical abuse, from preschool through age 17. They also offer a treatment program for families that have remained intact or have been reunified after the physical abuse of a child. Through counseling, families are helped to heal, and caregivers receive coping and parenting skills to reduce the likelihood of re-abuse.
“Thanks to The Howard Phillips Center, I am a mom full of knowledge and resources who is empowered now to not only continue to help my daughter grow the right way, but empower others who are going through the same thing or have gone through the same thing and feel hopeless,” explained Ciara. “They gave me the tools that I need not only for my daughter who has gone through this, but how to be a better mom. Things that maybe I wasn't doing right before, I can change and do it better now.”
Education and Resources
To learn more about the ways you can help spread the word, or educate yourself on the signs and symptoms of child abuse, share the attached informational flyer, or visit the following websites:
We invite you to See the Story by taking a one-hour tour of The Howard Phillips Center. Step behind the scenes to hear firsthand stories of Identification, Treatment and Prevention direct from caregivers, organizational leadership, grateful families and volunteers. You can join one of our scheduled tours or host a group tour for you, friends, family or colleagues by contacting Amy Drury at 321.841.8285 or Amy.Drury@OrlandoHealth.com.
Kenny Tello (pictured above), licensed mental health therapist at the Howard Phillips Center’s Healing Tree offered support to Ciara’s daughter.