February 03, 2005

Support Groups Help Victims of Sexual Abuse

Arlington Catholic Herald

By Soren Johnson
Special to the Herald
(From the issue of 2/3/05)

The diocesan Victim Assistance Office and Catholic Charities will collaborate to offer two support groups for victims of sexual abuse beginning this spring.

The confidential support groups, to be offered initially in Arlington and Fredericksburg over a 10-week period, will be a "safe place of ongoing healing, where trust might be in some part regained," according to Pat Mudd, diocesan victim assistance coordinator. "We’re here to support victims/survivors on their journey to healing." The establishment of the groups was requested by Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde last fall.

Because of the sensitive nature of the topic, it will not be a drop-in group; participants will be asked to register and commit to attend weekly sessions.

Among those leading the support groups will be Pamela Staszak, a professional counselor with Catholic Charities who has previously overseen support groups for victims of sexual abuse in North Carolina; Pat Cole, assistant program director of Family Services for CCDA who has worked extensively with adult victims of sexual abuse and trauma in workshops and support groups; and Marguerite Turner, assistant program director of Family Services, who has provided therapy to individuals, couples and families focusing on issues of depression, self-esteem, abuse survival, trauma and anxiety.

Posted by kshaw at February 3, 2005 06:17 PM