CALGARY, Alta., Aug. 05, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — An estimated 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will be sexually assaulted before the age of 16. This statistic became a reality for Andy Bhatti at the age of 10 after joining a youth mentoring program. Andy was matched with a mentor who sexually abused him for over four years. The abuse drove him to act out – fight, run, lie, steal, do drugs and join a life of crime and gangs.
Today, Andy Bhatti is the founder of Survivors Supporting Survivors, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and resources for survivors of childhood victimization. Funds raised through charity events and public campaigns help victims of abuse attend therapy and programs designed for men and women who have been victims of child abuse and/or sexual violence.
Donors like Cameron Schiffner have helped survivors receive the support they need to overcome abuse and begin to heal from their trauma.
“Thanks to Cam’s donation, we were able to get three people into the program. Keeping up the donations is extremely important.” – Andy Bhatti, Founder of Survivors Supporting Survivors
To find out how you can help, visit http://supportingsurvivors.ca. or call 1-604-309-1573
The damage of child victimization
Child abuse can last for weeks, months, and years, but the emotional and mental damage can last a lifetime. Victims of abuse often suffer from pain, guilt and shame that keep them from moving forward and leading healthy and happy lives. Many turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their trauma and numb the pain.
In the years following his abuse, Andy became a veritable heroin and cocaine addict. He spent as much time in prison cells as he did on the streets until he was 27. When he learned he was about to become a father, Andy began a complete transformation and immersed himself in recovery and therapy. He is now a drug and alcohol advocate and a strong voice for survivors of sexual abuse.
Survivors Supporting Survivors
The organization was founded in 2014 to raise funds for victims of abuse and organizations across Canada that provide services to victims. Survivors Supporting Survivors believe that anyone can overcome childhood trauma and abuse with the right support and professional help. Their goal is to support survivors of any form of mental, physical or sexual abuse.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, there are ways to get help. Survivors Supporting Survivors endorses the following resources for child victims of abuse:
Andy Bhatti – Addiction and Intervention Services
Canadian Directory of Addiction Rehabilitation Services
Lima Abedin, MCP. CCR. – Conscious Counseling
BC Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Picture 1: Andy Bhatti
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