Kristi was a nine-year old girl. She loved to play with her dolls, ride her bike, and help her teacher erase the board after school. Kristi was also eight months pregnant – impregnated by her stepfather – giving birth to a child at the age of 10. Sadly her case is not unique. Many of our clients find themselves in similar situations.
Kristi’s pregnancy actually brought her some attention and help she needed and couldn’t ask for herself. However, there wasn’t a Kristi House at the time. This was before wrap-around advocacy and mental health services were in place, and before a multidisciplinary team addressed all the legal, physical and emotional needs of child victims and their non-offending parents. Consequently, Kristi had a challenging life, but eventually found her way back to South Florida, and to Kristi House some 20 years later, where Kristi House and an exceptional caring therapist, have provided healing, albeit delayed, services.
More often than not, there is no physical evidence of sexual abuse, so the trauma children endure is locked away in the family’s conspiracy to try to ignore, deny, avoid and forget. Kristi House provides a place for children to get the help they need and was named in honor of that nine-year-old girl.