Help Us, Help Them
Dorchester Children’s Advocacy Center relies on the generosity of our supporters to provide children and families with the tools they need to start on a successful path to recovery from child abuse and neglect. Thanks to generous businesses, organizations, and individuals like you, Dorchester Children’s Advocacy Center is able to provide all services at no cost.
Whether a child visits the center one time for their initial forensic interview, or they visit the center every week for a year for therapy services, they never receive a bill for the services provided. This means that money never gets in the way of a child’s path toward hope, healing, and empowerment. With your support, it is possible for children and families to get the vital support and resources they need to heal.
The Roberson family was referred to Dorchester Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC) in September of 2017 after Kara disclosed to her mom that she had been sexually abused by her uncle.
⌄ Read Kara's Story
At the time of her forensic interview, Kara was only 4 years old but was able to provide details of the sexual abuse. Following the forensic interview, Kara was recommended to complete Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) at DCAC. At the time of the TF-CBT assessment, Kara’s mother indicated concerns with Kara’s behavior. She reported Kara was having more temper tantrums, was “clingier,” and would no longer go in her bedroom alone. The therapist began treatment by providing Kara’s mother with psychoeducation regarding trauma symptoms, particularly in young children, as well as techniques she could use as a supportive caregiver. Kara attended weekly sessions with the therapist and through the TF-CBT modules, she learned how to identify her feelings, use coping skills, and process her sexual abuse by creating a Trauma Narrative. Throughout treatment, the therapist provided parental support to Kara’s mother and helped her identify ways in which she could implement TF-CBT components into their home. At the end of treatment, Kara read her trauma narrative to her mother and was provided education regarding body safety. Kara completed her treatment in March of 2018. Although young, Kara demonstrated mastery of the skills taught in therapy and presented with fewer trauma symptoms. Kara’s mother reported Kara no longer feared to play in her bedroom alone and was re-adjusting to sleeping in her own bed at night.
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13-year old David was sexually assaulted by another teenage boy during an event at his church.
⌄ Read David's Story
David was being homeschooled at the time and spent a large majority of his time at church, so this had a big impact on him. After his assault, he did what a lot of boys do, pretended it did not happen. He spent so much energy pretending that it didn’t happen that his grades went down, his friendships deteriorated, and he started spending most of his time alone because all of his friends were at a place he did not want to be. Several weeks later, the same boy assaulted another person at the church, and David finally told his mom about what happened. The boy who assaulted him was barred from the church, but now everyone at his church knew about what happened to him. David already felt embarrassed and ashamed about what happened to him, so the unwanted attention made him feel worse. When he came to DCAC he was recommended to participate in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT). He learned about how to identify and confront the thoughts and feelings he was having about his sexual assault. He realized that confronting this memory was difficult, but possible. David successfully completed the TF-CBT Program through the reading of his trauma narrative and no longer felt shame for being a victim of abuse.
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When 4-year-old Kate had her initial assessment at DCAC, she presented with trauma symptoms that are typical of very young children, such as extreme tantrums, toileting issues, and separation anxiety.
⌄ Read Kate's Story
Throughout the process of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Kate and her mother were both able to learn invaluable skills such as relaxation, expression and regulation of emotions, and cognitive coping. As her mother began to consistently practice these learned skills at home with Kate, she began to notice a distinct difference in her child and in her home. By the end of treatment, the young girl who had initially avoided speaking during sessions was able to share her trauma narrative and communicate her feelings with no problem. The mother, who was once unsure of how to help her daughter, confidently described her plans to continue to cultivate the skills she and Kate learned in TF-CBT. In the final session, Kate reported that, while she once felt scared and angry, she now felt safe and filled with joy.
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