For anyone faced with the prospect of dealing with the trauma of childhood abuse it can be difficult to find a way of reaching out to others for help and support.
Many charitable organisations and other groups exist that are dedicated to helping people cope with the effects of childhood abuse and can offer a considerable level of practical support and guidance. Charity groups such as The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) can offer direct support through their helplines but can also assist in directing people to suitable local groups that may provide more focused long term assistance.
The Lantern Project offers help, guidance and support for adults who have experienced childhood abuse and is mainly focused in the North West of England. The site includes a wide range of links to articles and other materials. The website www.matrix-westyorkshire.info provides resources for survivors of sexual abuse and violence from the West Yorkshire region. There are other similar groups and resources that cater to the needs of different parts of the country.
Speaking to a GP or health professional may provide help and assistance in locating a suitable local support group. Your GP may be able to provide a referral but there are other options to consider as well. Local Social Services, Citizens Advice, The Prison Service, The Probation Service, Drug and Alcohol Services, Schools and the Police among others who may also be able to provide helpful local guidance on groups and organisations that can assist in a given area.
As noted there are many other options and large numbers of forums, websites and social media platforms that may help a person to find others who have suffered through similar experiences in the past. Many child abuse survivors have set up groups through sites such as Facebook and Twitter that have helped to connect people who have experienced abuse at particular care homes, schools or institutions.
There is of course always a need to be cautious and approaching registered charities and health professionals may well help identify those resources that are both reliable and appropriate to individual needs. It should always be borne in mind that browsing the internet, reading articles and the accounts of others experiences can bring back painful memories even where that was clearly not the intention of the writer. It is important to bear these points in mind especially when potentially connecting with others outside a controlled environment or setting.
A list of Support Groups, Charities and other helpful groups can be found here.