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Mom opens up about son's struggles with sexual abuse, help from Canopy Center

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Mom opens up about son's struggles with sexual abuse, help from Canopy Center

Mom opens up about son's struggles with sexual abuse, help from Canopy Center

A mom - who asked not to be identified – is telling her family’s story after her son struggled with sexual abuse.


Mom opens up about son's struggles with sexual abuse, help from Canopy Center

A quarter of girls are sexually abused by the time they go to college.

Same goes for one in six boys.

So when a parent feels lost in the system and overwhelmed by the trauma... it's important there's somewhere for them to go and find help.

Dannika lewis shares just one of the many stories out there.

Miss t: 0852 little kids have different ways of telling.

When we talk about a young child... it makes sense to see toys... miss t: 0652 it was, it was very very difficult.

But these little figurines are often playing out more than pretend.

Miss t: 1041 i saw him falling a part.

This mom... who we'll call miss t... started seeing her son act out and exhibit sexual behaviors... after he went to see his dad.

Miss t: 1243 your instinct as a parent is to want to protect, and when systems are telling you you can't, it is so difficult.

There were no criminal charges filed.

Miss t: i felt like i was sending him to more abuse.

1301 her son kept suffering.

Miss t: 1017 he started making statements about self-harm.

He was just five years old at that time.

Miss t: he would lay onthe floor and say, 'stomp on me.

I want to be dead.

I'm bad.

I'm as bad as a bad guy.'

And these are behaviors he hadn't been doing.

28 the family needed help working... or playing through the trauma... which led them to the canopy center.

Donna: 2225 that's their language is play.

Executive director donna fox says her therapists are specially trained to work with children under the age of five.

Research has proven even when a kid can't talk... they do remember.

Donna fox/ executive director of canopy center: 1852 it happens behind closed doors.

It happens to people with less power, and children have less power than adults.

1902 and with one in four girls and one in six boys experiencing sexual abuse by age 18... there just aren't enough counselors in dane county to help the youngest victims. canopy center has opened the doors of its new, bigger space to kids with any sort of abuse or neglect... centering that care around play... and uncovering what they can't communicate.

Donna: 3101 every child deserves to have somebody in their lives who feels that they're the most important thing in the world.

07 dannika lewis, news 3 now.

Along with its child sexual abuse program, the canopy center also provides kids with court system advocates, and oversees supervised visitations

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