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Support group for teens begins Jan. 17

Krystle Wagner • Jan 4, 2019 at 1:00 PM

A four-week group for sexual abuse survivors will begin Jan. 17.

The Ed and Nancy Hanenburg Children’s Advocacy Center is hosting the group for teens, ages 14-18, who are survivors of sexual abuse. The group will meet 4-5:30 p.m. Jan. 17, 24 and 31, and Feb. 7, at the Momentum Center Annex, 714 Columbus Ave. in Grand Haven.

The group’s meetings will focus on mindfulness and meditation, as it introduces teens to skills and education about ways to handle daily stress and the effects of trauma, according to Alli Watson, a therapist for the center.

Registration to join the support group is ongoing. To register, call Watson at 616-393-6123, or email [email protected]

Parents can attend an informational meeting, which will be held 4-5:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Momentum Center for Social Engagement. That meeting will provide parents with information about how to support their children, symptoms of trauma, the dynamics of abuse and how to connect their children to specific trauma treatments.

The center was a recipient of the 100 (or more) Women Who Care’s generosity in order to host support groups in Grand Haven, Watson said.

Given the need for services, hosting the meetings in Grand Haven is closer for area families and helps limit possible transportation barriers, Watson said.

“We want to meet people where they’re at,” he said.

Extended Grace Executive Director Barbara Lee VanHorssen said her organization listens to the community about needs and works to build relationships with other organizations to meet those needs. In addition to being an organization that helps form groups, VanHorssen said the Momentum Center Annex lends itself to those meetings.

Looking ahead, Watson said they hope to provide more offerings in the summer to provide services to all age groups.

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