For some children who have been abused, 'talking' is impossible. They may not have the words, or understanding. They may be too afraid. For these children, there are a range of creative therapeutic approaches that may help them to express their feelings.
Amy's story: Amy was 13 when she was referred to the NSPCC. Throughout her childhood, domestic abuse between her parents had been a constant feature of family life. She had also been physically and emotionally abused by her father. When he finally left the family home, Amy told her mother that her father had also been sexually abusing her over a number of years.
Communicating the 'unspeakable': Amy was helped by the NSPCC for nine months. Art work provided a safe way for her to communicate things that had been 'unspeakable' for many years. As her confidence grew, she created stories and poetry about a young princess who was initially under threat from powerful and bad characters. Over time, the princess became stronger and triumphed over those who tried to threaten her. Amy's stories were a metaphor for her own therapeutic journey.
'Happy Now': In her last session, Amy requested that she and her worker played music and made up dances. It was a wonderful moment of celebration when it was possible to look back and think about Amy's journey and the way her life had changed. Her last painting was of a bright and sparkly rainbow with the words, 'Happy Now.'