Sexual Abuse Survivors Workshop For Healing

With the tragic and ongoing sexual abuse stories in the news, the Mariah Fenton Gladis Foundation is determined to aid the victims of this devastating crime against the soul. During her 35 years of clinical practice, Mariah Fenton Gladis has witnessed the devastating long-term effect of this trauma as she worked with literally hundreds of clients who have been sexually abused by family members, friends, coaches, clergy, and others in positions of power.

Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse is a brutal violation and trauma and profoundly affects the well being of the victim as well as his/her family. If left untreated the person is at high risk for drug or alcohol abuse, depression, panic, and a variety of other destructive behaviors.

Many survivors do not have the financial means to professionally address this important and life changing issue. Since its inception in 2006, the Foundation continues to support those with a financial need and the underserved to acquire life skills training and individual and group psychotherapy through the Pennsylvania Gestalt Center.

The purpose of this workshop is to give survivors of sexual abuse an opportunity to assess their abilities and disabilities, to deepen their relationships and capacity to love, to develop new relationship skills, to increase self-awareness, and to practice risking positive action with others in environment of safety and trust.

This project aims to give support and healing to those affected by sexual abuse and help them go forward with a renewed strength.

The Need
Victims of sexual abuse most often live lives of chaos and underdevelopment, habitually hiding addictions and distancing themselves from friends and family. They can be filled with pangs of intense emotions, including fear, anger, and sorrow. Or they can present as numb and half dead, devoid of any feelings. Their self-esteem is severely damaged and they are critical and blaming of themselves or others. They hide the truth, terrified of being authentic, and often run from intimacy, not knowing how to deliver or receive love.

When children are sexually abused, it rips to shreds everything good they have ever believed about people and the world. Their innocence is stolen, along with their trust, self-esteem and sense of safety in the world. Unfortunately, many, if not most, blame themselves and often harbor the secret, initiating a pattern of isolation and self destruction that can last a lifetime if they don’t get the help they need.

For those who have experienced sexual abuse, it is of paramount importance that they face that history head on and discover the impact it has had for their behavior and relationships.