We at CALM (Child Abuse Listening and Mediation) extend our support to Roger Durling and the Independent for publishing “Nothing to Hide Anymore” (November 12, 2009). His description of insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, low self-esteem, and difficulty with trust are often experienced by adults who were molested as children, along with fear of disclosure of the “secret.” Many adult survivors suffer self-destructive behaviors, such as eating disorders or substance abuse, and many do not seek help out of fear that they are at fault for what took place.
For 33 years, CALM’s Adults Molested as Children (AMAC) groups have existed to help men and women in Santa Barbara heal from the trauma and isolation experienced as a result of sexual abuse. The program offers group treatment in a safe and supportive place, and ultimately helps the individual learn that they are not to blame for the abuse, as Mr. Durling learned through therapy. It is possible to heal from sexual abuse. It is not easy, but there are many resources that can help. CALM is one.-Cecelia Rodriguez, executive director, CALM