For 16 years, Monika Bormann has been the head of the "Neue Wege" counseling center of Caritas in Bochum, which deals with the care of sexually abused children. It still happens that she is shaken by the encounters with the young victims. For example, if an abused girl doesn't want to tell what happened.
Despite her many years of experience, the 55-year-old is still moved by the fate of the children today. "Being a victim means feeling guilty and dirty, believing you did something wrong," she explains. "This can last for months and years – and sometimes for a lifetime." —- "Counseling Center Against Abuse, Neglect and Sexual Abuse of Children" is the full name of "New Paths". For 19 years, she has been a contact point for children and young people, some of whom have had extremely traumatic experiences. "Our mission is to help boys and girls get through life as best we can with what they've been through," Bormann explains.
—-Her team has six members. Turning victims into people who are capable of taking action, who feel themselves to be lovable and who sense their own strength – that is what their work is about. "It is incredibly difficult for a child to talk about the traumatic experiences," says the behavioral and trauma therapist. "Therapy has limits, sometimes bitter limits."They become clear, for example, when treatments are discontinued "because the horror of dealing with what they have experienced is too great".
—-The goal for therapy sounds simple. "To be able to feel yourself again, to know again what you like and what you don't like, to know again that you are allowed to assert that, that you are all right and have a right in life", this liberation from the consequences of a bad injury can – says Bormann – therapy achieve. 393 sexually abused children and young people and in addition still 85 victims of domestic violence cared for the advice center in the last year – a depressing number. —-"As long as I feel I can improve something, I can endure the horror," the therapist said. "To help to heal the unbelievable pain and to go a little way with the children and young people on the way into life, which can become beautiful in spite of everything – that is also an enormous gift." Faith helps Catholic endure charges.
—-The head of the Bochum Youth Welfare Office, Dolf Mehring, appreciates Monika Bormann as "an expert who has contributed with great personal commitment" to the fact that the counseling center "New Ways" is highly respected in the region. It is partly thanks to their commitment that child protection in Bochum "enjoys a very special status".-
—Despite general appreciation and despite the undeniable importance of the work – the existence of the counseling center "New Ways" is not secured. So far, the city of Bochum has financed it. Whether it will continue to do so in the future is unclear, given the municipality's strained financial situation. A new contract with the municipality is pending. "If the city does not renew the cooperation, the counseling center will be closed," Bormann fears. 'But I trust that we will get a new treaty'.