My name is Eva Louise Henderson and I am a survivor of child abuse turned charity worker, helping people flee abuse and become safe afterwards. I not only lived through abuse and then chose to go through counselling and self-help, I have also supported thousands of other survivors of all sorts of trauma to escape heal, and we have walked that road together for a while.
I have worked in the British criminal justice sector, on phone lines for strangers in distress, in several different forms of front line residential accommodation and in the community in centres. I’ve worked with men and women aged 16 and above and the topics they have brought with them have included war and genocide, street homelessness, sexual abuse and rape, abuse due to sexuality, FGM, divorce, gambling problems, problematic drug and alcohol use, domestic abuse, poverty and illiteracy, women who had their babies taken away which profoundly affected their lives, people from monied backgrounds who were not parented properly – every story different. I have two Metropolitan Police Special Commendations for work with high risk clients and a number of qualifications in the helping field, including counselling. I was also an IDVA for five years.
From meeting so many different people with backgrounds that included abuse, I began to notice that many people’s lives of today lead back to yesterday; no matter how the lives have widened out in adulthood, many people’s traumatic childhoods continue to affect them today. This strikes me as grossly unfair and of course it was my own experience too. I have therefore always identified as and felt akin to survivors of child abuse and my sole aim in writing is to support survivors to feel better – to understand more, to change the way they think, to live with it differently (let it out), to behave differently, to treat themselves with greater care and respect, to look at their life and work out what could be better and to then MAKE that life better.
I am now retired from front line work. I began to feel, after dealing intimately with abuse and its’ fallout for so many years, that I wished to stop being so involved with such a dark subject, and I resigned from my charity role and now try to limit the amount of work I do in the field. This is for my own growth as a survivor and my need to leave it behind and change focus.
What I did before I left, however, is put everything I learned both personally and professionally into a book, a self-help guide, for other survivors who need a staunch hand to hold as they guides their lives forward. This blog is written alongside that book – I write as a seasoned survivor, watching the abuse and gender debates rage, and observing life from my point of view. I want to be able to discuss life as a survivor, both from inside and outside.
The information in this blog is therefore for any survivors of any form of childhood trauma and abuse who actively need help or wish to read about the subject. It is for those who were physically, sexually or emotionally harmed in childhood, from anywhere in the world, at any point in their life – and at any point in their living with and relating to their histories. My book will take you from start to finish and you will find hints and tips relating to all sorts of healing potholes, and experiences / best practice gleaned from the front lines of the UK’s best charities.