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March 3, 2024

Lismore to host event for sexual abuse survivors

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The Star Court Theatre in Lismore will next week be the venue for Life After Sexual Abuse, an event for health professionals, sex abuse survivors and their family members.

Organisers CASPA (Child and Adolescent Specialist Programs and Accommodation) say it is an opportunity to ‘better understand the trauma inflicted by sexual violence and discuss strategies for support and healing.’

According to keynote speaker and sexual abuse survivor John Saunders having a frank and open discussion about child sexual abuse ‘can create a safe space for people to ask questions and seek help.’

‘The Q&A session offers the opportunity for the audience and panel to discuss how we – as individuals and as a community – can contribute to stopping sexual abuse in its tracks,’ John said.

He will explain the various impacts that the abuse he experienced had on him as a child, teenager, adult, parent and partner. He will also talk about strategies he used to overcome his suffering to become an advocate and a counsellor for people who are still struggling with the past.

The Q&A will be moderated by Naarah Morgan, CASPA GM and the event’s producer.

‘Survivors of childhood sexual abuse are amongst us, they are our family, our friends, our colleagues, our neighbours,’ Naarah said.

‘Child protection is everyone’s business and together we can make a difference in supporting those who have endured and survived this trauma.’

She also advocated ‘implementing safe and child-focused environments throughout our community’ in the hope of preventing it.

‘The Q and A will be a powerful opportunity to hear from a cross-section of experts, to raise questions and ideas about childhood sexual abuse, its impact, its prevalence and the journey for survivors.

‘If there has ever been an important conversation we as a society need to be having, this is it,’ said Naarah.

The panel of seven specialists involved in the Q&A are:
– Brad Hodges, Clinical Neuropsychotherapist, Complex Care
– James Fraser, Clinician, CASPA
– Kate Loubet, CEO, Heartfelt House
– Lyn Patman, Therapeutic Services Manager, Bravehearts
– Magistrate David Heilpern, Lismore Court
– Professor Judy Atkinson, Trauma Specialist, Jiman and Bundjalung
– Sharon Brodie, Clinical Lead and Sexual Assault Counsellor, NSW Health.

Life After Sexual Abuse, Tuesday December 12, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm AEDT, Star Court Theatre, 126 Molesworth Street, Lismore, NSW 2480
Tickets $15, concession $10, foster carers free.
Book online at: www.saunderslismore.eventbrite.com.au

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  1. Would love to come but cannot drive of an evening. I’m 72 and abused throughout my childhood. It’s hard to explain how your whole life is affected but it is. I’d be interested to hear how others have coped.


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