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ANBU develops a group therapy model to help survivors of childhood sexual abuse

TORONTO, ONTARIO (June 26, 2024) — Abuse Never Becomes Us (A.N.B.U.) is pleased to announce a new project aimed at addressing the lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate services for childhood sexual abuse survivors and their families within the Tamil diaspora. This specific community has also experienced displacement, inter-generational trauma, and genocide due to coming from a war-torn country. Through this initiative, ANBU is developing and testing a group therapy model based on the Gatehouse model specifically for these survivors.

The ANBU Therapy Model is informed by a needs assessment and incorporates arts-based methods to engage participants in their healing journey. This model is being tested and adapted with several cohorts and will be shared with the community through in-person and virtual events.

The project is supported by nearly $487,000 in funding from Women and Gender Equality Canada and includes an assessment by a third-party evaluator to determine its potential for adaptation and replication.

“By empowering survivors to share their stories and express themselves through art-based methods, we are fostering a community where healing is not only possible but also celebrated. This project will help break down the cultural and linguistic barriers that have hindered access to appropriate services for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse in the Tamil diaspora. We will create a space where they can find solace, healing, and culturally sensitive support. This funding from Women and Gender Equality Canada is instrumental in our mission to bring about meaningful change for the Tamil community in the GTA, and across the broader GBV sector in Canada.”

Jenny Starke, Co-Founder and President, ANBU 

“Women and Gender Equality Canada is proud to support this project that will help and empower the Tamil community. I’m confident that ANBU’s innovative approach will make a difference in the healing journey of victims and survivors of childhood sexual abuse and their families. We are hoping this model could be applied to many communities, and ultimately support as many victims and survivors of gender-based violence as possible. By working with community organizations like ANBU, we will create and sustain safe communities in the GTA and across the country.”

The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

“I am deeply moved by ANBU’s initiative to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate support for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. This project addresses the unique challenges faced by the Tamil diaspora, including displacement and inter-generational trauma. By developing and testing this innovative group therapy model, ANBU is creating a vital resource for healing and empowerment. This initiative will make a significant difference in the lives of many, fostering a stronger and more resilient community.”

The Honourable Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Rouge Park, Ontario