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Interviews on Childhood Sexual Abuse

The following interviews are both personal accounts of survivors of childhood sexual abuse and a service provider talking about their work with survivors. The interviews highlight the role of strength and resilience in the survivor's journey toward growth and healing.

Natasha (Survivor)

7/27/18 - In this podcast, Natasha discusses her experiences of chronic childhood sexual abuse by family members. She explains the experience she had with disclosing the abuse to her teachers in school and the repercussions she faced because of the disclosure. As a result of her own experiences, she highlights the importance of educating adults who interface with children about the signs of childhood abuse and neglect. She also explains how the principles of trauma-informed care influenced her experiences in two different treatment settings. 

Keywords: dissociation; flashbacks; PTSD; anxiety; CPS

Lesley (Provider)

9/27/17 - In this podcast, Lesley, a Licensed Mental Health Therapist, discusses her journey to and experiences of being a therapist; she reflects on her work with individuals seeking help with anxiety, stress management and depression, as well as unprocessed trauma histories (including her past work with survivors of childhood sexual abuse). Lesley tells the listener about the holistic focus of her practice in which she incorporates the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and relational. The principles of trauma-informed care provide the foundation of Lesley's practice, and she discusses her design of the therapeutic environment, working on boundaries and the act of being consistently present to clients. Lesley built her practice explicitly on kindness, authenticity and empowerment, and she eloquently states the imperative for therapists to be well-trained to notice and respond to clients' trauma histories and other distress. For more information on Lesley's practice, visit her website:

Keywords: anxiety; holistic; mental health; therapy; survivors of childhood sexual abuse

Carol (Survivor/Provider)

7/5/17 - In this podcast, Carol reflects on the impact that childhood sexual trauma has on an individual, regardless of how it occurs. When she was young, she was assaulted by and exposed to a stranger - an experience that continued to influence her life, relationships and sense of self for years. Carol tells the listener about her time in in-patient treatment, which ultimately put her on the road to become a social worker. She explains how the principles of trauma-informed care helped her to rediscover her voice and power. Additionally, Carol talks about the ways in which she creates a trusting, safe environment for trauma survivors she counsels. For more information on Carol's private practice, visit City Gate Recovery Center, Inc.

Keywords: in-patient treatment; molestation; sexual exposure; therapeutic milieu; trauma counseling

Tom (Survivor)

5/22/17 - In this podcast, Tom openly talks about his childhood experience of being molested and raped by a trusted priest. He shares with the audience the hugely significant impact the abuse had on him emotionally, socially, spiritually, behaviorally and relationally. Tom reflects on being labeled a liar, and feelings of isolation, triggers, emotional breakdowns and suicidal ideation. In his 'long and winding' road to healing, he indicates what has helped him to find a sense of safety and trust again, including theater, therapy, yoga, working with children and advocacy. Tom reveals ways in which the principles of trauma-informed care helped to shift his coping strategies from drugs, alcohol and unhealthy relationships, to treatment, reconnection and speaking out. For more information on resources, supports, campaigns and policies on childhood sexual abuse, you can access the following websites: Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, Safe Horizon, and Stop Abuse Campaign.

Keywords: molestation; rape; suicide; Catholic Church; drugs and alcohol; advocacy