From Broken to BRAVE
By: David Wong, Clinical Psychology Associate at SOLS Health, Life Skills Facilitator in Taylor’s University
Disclaimer: This blogpost includes details of child abuse and sexual assault.
There was once a child who was sexually abused by his own father. At a young age where other children would typically play and bond with their fathers, this child experienced painful memories of forced oral sex. His behaviour at school became strange due to this sexual abuse. He peeked at other people's private body parts, was irritable, and his academic performance was extremely unsatisfactory.
His psychologist would describe their sessions as “wrestling with a giant”. Sometimes, the child would show affection towards the psychologist, yet other times, his behaviour changed and he would become aggressive. These behaviours reflected his brokenness and every interaction made would be an opportunity to establish a healthy relationship. After eight months of contact with him, the child learned to respect his relationship with his psychologist and found a safe environment. Although his progress in school was not obvious, he progressively built up the courage to trust his teacher and classmates in order to focus on his lessons and work with his peers.
The transformation of children who have endured abuse from being broken to brave is not instantaneous. It is a process.
SOLS Health conducts community workshops with low-income families with a focus on rebuilding broken family relationships. Under the KAMI program, we work together with parents and children from urban poor communities who may struggle to communicate well with each other, among other issues.
Aside from helping these families, SOLS Health also reaches out to women and children who have experienced domestic violence through their BRAVE program. According to the statistics, 4 out of 10 children are victims of domestic violence; they may have been sexually, physically or mentally abused, or even abandoned. Through BRAVE, we offer accessible and appropriate therapy to these women and children for helping them to process and heal from their trauma.
This process of transformation is not easy. It takes time and consistent effort from both the therapist and the client, to effectively work on healing emotional wounds and rebuilding the foundations that were destroyed through enduring domestic abuse.
At the end of the day, our goal is to help these women and children to emerge in a stronger mental state with renewed confidence and a sense of hope for the future.
If you are willing, you can help contribute to our goal by supporting our fundraising campaign by clicking on this link: https://www.ngohub.asia/users/10934/fundraisers/219. Together, we can play a role in helping these victims to transform from being broken to BRAVE!