The Quetzal Project provides long-term counselling, crisis counselling and a telephone helpline to support women, aged 16 and over, who are recovering from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. We have worked with hundreds of women over the years in Leicester City, County and Rutland.
Our Name – The Quetzal is a South American bird which was caught for its beautiful head and tail feathers and caged. Legend has it that it dies when caged. The support Quetzal has to offer helps to break down the bars of psychological cages for women who are recovering from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse.
Child sexual abuse, particularly incest, is the ultimate taboo. This makes it a secret and silent crime, which is difficult to quantify. The majority of victims know their perpetrators; and where the abuser is a parent or close family member, the child is trapped between the need to seek help and the fear of how this step may impact upon the family.
Child sexual abuse involves pressurising or forcing a child to take part in sexual activities, or encouraging a child to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. Child sexual abuse is not limited to physical sexual activity, and could include non-contact abuse such as exposure and child pornography.
For many, the effects of childhood sexual abuse can last into adulthood, causing significant psychological trauma, physical injury, and a range of mental health and behavioural problems. These may include recurring feelings of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, panic attacks, flash backs, self-harm, and alcohol and substance abuse.