One in four girls and one in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. In seconds, their childhoods are shattered, their innocence stolen forever. Worse still, the effects haunt them for years with health and relationship difficulties, and increased likelihood of drug and alcohol dependency, teen pregnancy, delinquency, violent crime, debilitating fear…all negative consequences for the individual and the community.
An estimated 39 million survivors of child sexual abuse exist in America today, yet child sexual abuse is a crime that goes largely undetected. It is difficult to identify, verify, prosecute and treat. It is an insidious form of abuse as perpetrators are often beloved family members or trusted friends. Their betrayal leaves psychological scars not only on the child victim, but on the mother and siblings as well. Often children remain silent because of confusion, guilt and the fear of family upheaval that comes with disclosure.
Therapy is a critical component in helping children overcome the trauma of child sexual abuse. Kristi House is one of a very few agencies in Miami-Dade County providing specialized mental health services for child sexual abuse regardless of families’ ability to pay. Because untreated child sexual abuse often manifests itself in health, sexual and social problems throughout life, it is vitally important that Kristi House provides sexually abused children with mental health services.
Evidence Based Treatment
Kristi House’s approach is grounded in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy, the only intervention with empirical data proving its effectiveness for child sexual abuse victims. Types of therapy provided, depending on the needs of the child and family, include:
- Play therapy
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
During intake or at any point throughout the course of treatment, a therapist may refer a child victim for an evaluation to the in-house Doctor of Psychiatry. Such a referral typically happens only when the therapist feels the child would benefit from such an evaluation. The psychiatrist assesses the client and, if necessary, monitors throughout treatment in conjunction with the multidisciplinary team.
Thanks to Therapy Supporters
Limited public funding exists to help these young, vulnerable victims of crime. Kristi House is dedicated, nevertheless, to ensuring that all children receive the help they need by its highly trained and qualified therapists using evidence-based, proven interventions to provide mental health services to child-victims and their families. We are dedicated to helping children break free of the silence, secrecy, and shame that should never define a child’s life. Thank you to these supporters of our Therapy program who are likewise committed:
Important Note: In the employment, training, promoting, or provision of service to clients, Kristi House will not discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, age, sex, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, country of national origin, language proficiency, or ability to pay. In addition, clients who are diagnosed with co-occurring disorders will not be excluded from service because of the diagnosis. Kristi House will provide reasonable accommodation to all employees and clients as specified by the mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act, The Department of Children and Families CFOP 60-10, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. All services including communication assistance and auxiliary aids are provided free of charge to the client.
- City of Miami Gardens
- Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation
- Florida Dept. of Children & Families
- The Miami Foundation
- Miami-Dade County
- National Children’s Alliance
- Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc.
- Paul Palank Memorial Foundation
- Peacock Foundation
- Pearl Foundation
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services SAMHSA