Local resources for Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA)
** if you are in immediate danger, call 911
** make sure a police report is made and get the police to issue you an
** EPO (Emergency Protective Order)
Domestic Violence Shelter of Santa Clarita
provides emergency shelter, crisis intervention counselling, support
groups, legal service referrals, court advocacy, community educational
24 hr hotline : (661) 259-4357
eliminate social and domestic violence and homelessness through
community awareness, intervention, prevention, safe shelter and
supportive services. Emergency shelter, transitional housing, sexual
assault response services (SARs), children's services and outreach
24-hour hotline: (661) 945-673
provides safety and support to victims of domestic violence while working
to break the cycle of abuse. They offer shelter, crisis intervention,
counseling, advocacy, and activities supporting increased economic
opportunity to victims primarily in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles.
They endeavor to increase community awareness about domestic
violence issues and bring about societal change through education and
public policy advocacy.
24 hour hotline (818) 887-6589
Prototypes (includes help for substance abuse and mental illness)
rebuilds the lives of women, children and communities impacted by
substance abuse, mental illness and domestic violence. Promoting
self-sufficiency with integrated and comprehensive programs, ensuring
safety and shelter for those in need.
Domestic Violence resource center: (323) 290-0466 or (323) 464-6281
Female victims of domestic violence and substance abuse, mental health
or trauma issues: 323) 461-4118
The Coalition for Family Harmony
provides supportive services to victims of domestic violence and sexual
assault, and educates the community regarding violence against women,
children and men to prevent the cycle of violence. Emergency 30 day
shelter ffor domestic violence victims, crisis response intervention for
victims of sexual assault.
ASCA Santa Clarita
a) sexual assault, childhood abuse, interpersonal violence
Strength United - free counselling for 12 weeks
Operating through California State University Northridge’s (CSUN)
Michael D. Eisner College of Education, Strength United provides a
unique interdisciplinary approach to ending abuse and violence
through the collaboration of mental health professionals, educators,
researchers, students and volunteers.
This collaboration enhances the health and well-being of individuals,
families, and communities through our 24-hour response team,
advocacy, intervention, education, prevention and work for social
24 hr hotline: San Fernando Valley (818) 886-0453
Santa Clarita Valley (661) 253-0258.
Locations: Santa Clarita, Northridge and Van Nuys
** free counselling available to survivors even if the trauma happened
when you were a child **
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) - free
provides crisis intervention and support, answers to questions about
recovering from sexual assault, information about medical issues,
explanations of the criminal justice system, and what to expect when
you report the crime to the police and also referrals to resources in
your area, information for family and friends of victims
24 hr hotline: 1-800-656 4673
Jewish Family Services - sliding scale, for any ethnicity or religion
provide counseling and support for a wide range of issues. Services
include 1-on-1 counseling and psychotherapy, consultation and
referral, parent education, Iranian peer counseling, support groups,
divorce mediation, parent education, school-based counseling etc.
Tel: 877-275 4537 or (818) 464-3333
Family Service Agency of Burbank - sliding scale
provides 1-on-1 and group counselling including childhood trauma.
unemployed about $30-$35 for 1-on-1 counselling.
Tel: 818-845 7671
Valley Counselling (Encino) - affordable
provides counselling for childhood trauma, depression, anxiety, self-
esteem, loss & grieving, relationships, addictions etc.
Tel: (818) 995-0368
Counseling West (Sherman Oaks) - sliding scale
provides counselling for Depression, Anxiety, Financial Stress,
Life Transitions, Grief and Loss, Relationship Issues, Parenting,
Communication, Trauma, Self Esteem
unemployed $20 per session
Tel: 818-999 6164 or 818-990 9898
Child and Family Guidance Center (Antelope Valley & Northridge)
Tel: 661-265 8627 or 818-739 5250
Friends of the Family (Van Nuys) - sliding scale
provides counselling to increase participants’ capacity to socially
connect, increase satisfaction in interpersonal relationships, reduce
undesirable behaviors, and manage life issues.
Tel: 818-988 4430
b) substance abuse
Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services - free
provides substance abuse counseling, drug and alcohol treatment and
long term residential treatment program.
Tel: (310) 390-8896
Jewish Family Services - sliding scale, for any ethnicity or religion
provides addiction and substance abuse education, support and
prevention services. Tel: 877-275 4537 or 310-247 1780
c) suicide prevention
please see suicide prevention resources below (2)
d) domestic violence
please see Domestic Violence resources below (5)
2. suicide prevention hotlines:
Department of Mental Health Los Angeles County
Didi Hirsch Community Suicide Prevention Center
provides quality mental health care, substance abuse treatment and
suicide prevention and training for financially challenged communities.
24/7 suicide hotline: 1-877-727-4747 or 1-877-7CRISIS
TEEN LINE is a confidential telephone helpline for teenaged callers and
also offers message boards, resources and information.
The volunteers who answer the calls, emails and chats are Southern
California teenagers who have been specially trained. They won’t judge
you or give advice – their job is to listen to your feelings and help you to
clarify your concerns, define the options available to you, and help you
make positive decisions.
1-800-852 8336 or 310-855 4673 from 6pm - 10pm PST only
The Trevor Project (LGBTQ)
strives to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing 24/7 crisis
intervention lifeline, digital community and advocacy/educational programs
Trevor LifeLine: 1-866-488 7386
3. legal assistance:
Neighbourhood legal services of Los Angeles (NLSLA) - free
legal representation or advice and education at no cost to qualifying
residents in the areas of Family Law, Immigration Law, Administrative
(Public Benefits) Law, Housing Law, Employment Law, Health Law and
Community and Consumer Law.
Provides free Workshops to assist qualifying residents with income tax
returns, naturalization applications, worker's rights concerns, and
Legal Assistance : 800-433-6251
domestic violence law: restraining orders, divorce, child custody etc
housing law: eviction defense, foreclosures, rent control etc
immigration law: special petitions for victims of domestic violence etc
employment law: employment disputes, unemployment insurance etc
education law: student discipline issues, student loan problems etc
consumer protection: loan problems etc
Self Help Legal Access Center
Van Nuys Courthouse
6230 Sylmar Ave #350, Van Nuys, CA
Other self-help legal access centers can be found here
- "Soul Survivors - a new beginning for adults abused as children" by J
Patrick Gannon, Phd
- Dr. Patrick Gannon in conjunction with survivor volunteers
developed the ASCA program of self-help healing - "Survivor to
Thriver" manual and ASCA meetings.
- contains case studies, helpful when working through the 21
steps of the "Survivor to Thriver" manual
- has a good chapter for friends/lovers/spouses of adult survivors
to help them understand and offer support during the healing
and recovery process of survivors.
- useful guide to help you interview and select a therapist
- good resolution/forgiveness chapter as it details the issues and
process involved in whether to confront your abuser or not. The
case studies are useful as it has documentation on the
correspondence/processes between the survivors and their
- The new edition is the 2nd Edition which is an eBook (about $6)
and much more comprehensive – with updated materials from
ASCA meetings https://www.amazon.com/SOUL-SURVIVORS-
- "Homecoming - reclaiming and championing your inner child" by
- useful identification of problems due to childhood wounds
segmented by when the abuse occurred - infant, toddler,
preschool, school-age and adolescence.
- practical exercises to help you heal yourself
- "Conquering incest - my life as a trauma survivor" by E. Diane
- really good details on the process of recovery (DID) - including
journal writings, therapy, hospitalisations etc.
- the material may be triggering
- inspiring as Diane never gave up on her recovery and was
proactive in taking steps to isolate herself when necessary and
to get help so that others would not be impacted.
- Diane is an example of a high-functioning over-achiever survivor
who had a breakdown later in life because she didn't get the
opportunity to resolve her early childhood trauma earlier.
- "Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of violence - from Domestic
Abuse to Political Terror" by Judith Herman
- focuses on a new diagnosis of PTSD, Complex Post Traumatic
Stess Disorder (C-PTSD).
- Coercive techniques used by domestic violence abusers are
remarkably similar as those used against hostages, political
prisoners and survivors of concentration camps. Coercive
techniques include terror, intermittent reward, isolation,
enforced dependency violation of moral principles and betrayal
of basic human attachments
- "Outgrowing the Pain: a book for and about adults abused as
children" by Eliana Gil
- this is a nice short book in large font which explains the many
aftereffects of abuse.
- useful if you are not sure if you are abused or not sure what the
- also helpful for spouse/partners of abuse survivors
- does not have a detailed recovery plan, just broad
- "Outgrowing the Pain together: a book for and about adults abused
as children" by Eliana Gil
- recommendation by New York ASCA co-facilitator
- The book is very concise (short).
- For the survivors, how abuse in childhood affects the adult in
both mind and body and how to deal with these affects.
- For spouses/partners, ways in which the spouse/partner can
support and help the survivor dealing with these various
issues. Insights are also offered by citing ways that may
logically may seem would be helpful but, in fact are the
- Used copies can be found in Amazon.
- "Conquering Incest: My life as a trauma survivor" by Diane Champe
- inspiring and courageous. Diane documented everything from
her journal writings, her reactions, the entire recovery process
as a survivor with DID.
- high-functioning over-achiever survivors will find a lot to relate in
- "Adult Children of Abusive Parents: A Healing Program for those who
have been Physically, Sexually or Emotionally Abused" by Steven
- good scenario examples of how healthy families interact
- 4 major roles which survivors commonly assume - The
Perfectionist, The Caretaker, The Invisible One and The Rebel.
- I like the exercises to help us develop what we missed learning
in our childhood.
- The recovery program has 4 stages - healing your inner child,
growing up again, integration and breaking the cycle which
involves learning how to express love and maintaining order
and respect with your children.
- "Feelings buried alive never die ..." by Karol K Truman
- if everything seems to go wrong even when you try all sorts of
positive affirmations, or if you cannot understand your feelings
or find them, or you have physical ailments that keep recurring,
then this book will help explain why in logical and simple terms
- good explanations on how thoughts, feelings, emotions can
govern your life and how you can go about changing them for a
more peaceful existence.
- practical tools that you can use to uncover, resolve and release
your negative feelings.
- a good list of illnesses and the probable feelings that may be
- "Toxic Parents: Overcoming their hurtful legacy and reclaiming your
life" by Susan Forward with Craig Buck
- concise and useful definition of toxic parents - inadequate
parents, controllers, alcoholics, verbal abusers, physical
abusers and sexual abusers. If you are not sure whether your
childhood was really abusive, this will help clarify it - it is
particularly useful if your parents were inadequate even for
reasons beyond their control and you became the caretaker of
your siblings and/or parents.
- With case studies and examples, the link between parental
behaviour and the child's reaction/conclusion which carries
through to distorted adulthood beliefs is very clearly defined. I
found it powerful because it helps identify and explain the
underlying sub-conscious beliefs that drive us.
- good check-list to help identify deeply ingrained unhealthy
beliefs that underlie your feelings and behaviours.
- a very good section on forgiveness, one of the few books I've
read that explains why you don't have to forgive to start the
process of healing.
- the second section on how to change behaviours is very useful -
with examples of non-defensive responses to use on toxic
parents that defuses the interaction, reduces the guilt and allow
you to be true to your needs and not your parents. The position
statements help you think through the options of what you will
be ok with when toxic parents are making demands.
- good examples on how to deal with misplaced anger effectively
resulting in more productive outcomes
- the healing and recovery process emotionally and logically
leads you to a place where you can let go and give you the
freedom to enjoy your life.
- good section on confronting abusers - outlining the
disadvantages and advantages of various options. Helps you
prepare and assess if and when you will be ready do it and
which would be the best way for you.
- "The Boy who was raised as a dog: What traumatised children can
teach us about loss, love and healing" by Bruce D Perry and Maia
- provides the linkage between childhood trauma and it's impact
on brain development in particular stress or trauma
- the brain is like a muscle and thus by exposing the brain to
moderate, predictable and patterned stress/challenges will
make the brain stronger and more functionally capable. This
makes a resilient, flexible stress response capacity. However,
but too much, too early or too strong will damage the brain. Is
the system is overloaded, worked beyond capacity, the result
can be profound deterioration, disorganisation and dysfunction.
Just like working out with weights that is too heavy for your
muscles - you will tear and hurt yourself instead of building
stronger muscles. And so, it is entirely possible to reprogram
- explains how abused or traumatised children may be
misdiagnosed with ADD, ADHD, hyperactivity or oppositional-
defiant disorder instead of PTSD
- good case studies on how neglect or abuse of infants and
toddlers deprives their brains of necessary learnings (nurturing
sensory experiences) and the impact on their subsequent
behaviours as they grow older. Describes effectiveness of
neurosequential therapy - essentially providing the abused child
with the nurturing, care, learnings they were deprived of based
on their developmental age and not on their chronological age.
- "Boundaries: Where you end and I begin" by Anne Katherine
- good examples through case studies about the differences
between boundaries and defences. Defences keep everything
out and thus deprives us of the possibility of good experiences.
A boundary is a limit or edge that defines you as separate from
others. Boundaries encompass physical, emotional and
sexual, can be rigid or flexible and come in many shapes and
sizes. Boundaries keep harm out and let in the good.
- Childhood boundary violations of intrusion creates an emotional
shock wave. Childhood boundary violations of distance leads to
lack of awareness of our feelings. As children, these leads us
to lose our sense of self which as adults which then translates
to lack of healthy boundaries.
- good exercises to help recognise where our boundaries are
and whether they are healthy or not.
- good exercises to help develop our boundaries that have some
flexibility and some definite limits, in response to situations
depending on whether it's with strangers, intimates, friends,
family, peers, subordinates, staff etc. Boundaries should be
firm enough to keep our values and priorities clear, open
enough to communicate our priorities to the right people, yet
closed enough to withstand assault from the thoughtless and
- "Where to draw the line: How to set healthy boundaries everyday" by
- this is the follow-up book to the one above "Boundaries" (10)
which expands establishing and maintaining boundaries in a
wide range of situations focusing on every facet of daily life.
- Healthy boundaries preserve our integrity. Unlike defences,
which isolate us from out true selves and from those we love,
boundaries filter out harm
- provides tools and insights needed to create boundaries so that
we can allow time and energy for the things that matter - and
helps break down limiting defences that stunt personal growth.
- List of boundaries covered with case studies and examples on
boundary setting - time, communication, anger, friendship,
gossip, intimacy, holiday, birthday and celebrations, sexual,
gender, divorce, possession, parent, spiritual, tidiness, dress
and appearance, illness and chronic conditions, dying,
autonomy, food, internet, therapist.
- "Why does he do that: Inside the minds of angry and controlling men"
by Lundy Bancroft
- great definitions on what constitutes abusive behaviour.
- dispels common myths about what causes the abuse - it's not
about abusers not being able to control their anger. and
sending them to anger management classes. It's the
underlying thought process which has to do with the abuser's
values such as entitlement, possession and lack of respect.
This gives the abuser the excuse/reason in their mind to feel
angry and then to react to the anger in ways which demonstrate
their lack of respect for their partner.
- how to spot abusers/abusive behavior
- safety planning for abused women/men - who are still living with
the abuser and after they leave the abuser.
- tactics used by abusers on children and the impact on them
- what to look for in a good abuser program
- the 13 steps to change an abuser - only a small minority is
willing to do the work. Many will drop out resorting back to
manipulation, lies, blaming and excuses.
- how to determine if the abuser has really changed - how to see
through the abuser's manipulation, lies, blaming and excuses.
- "When Dad hurts Mom: helping your children heal the wounds of
witnessing abuse" by Lundy Bancroft
- very good book to help mothers really understand how their
children are being impacted by witnessing abuse. Covers
different scenarios of how children will typically react pre and
post separation including the impact of the abuser's
manipulations. Provides excellent suggestions and
encouragement on how to navigate through the complexities
and tough terrain of emotions the children will go through.
- a great section on how to work through the pros and cons of
leaving and developing a good safety plan for the long term.
- a good section on how to work with child protective services and
leverage their support instead of fighting them.
- "Helping Her Get Free: A Guide for Families and Friends of Abused
Women" by Susan Brewster
- this book used to be titled "To be an anchor in the Storm: A
guide for families and friends of abused women"
- this is a great book in general to help you became a more
effective support system for anyone going through a difficult
time, not only for abusive situations.
- defines the differences between being a distancer, a rescuer or
an anchor. Most survivors tend to distance or rescue when it
comes to families and friends and so learning how to anchor is
very productive. The distancers learn how to bridge the gap and
the rescuers learn how to help more effectively without burning
out themselves. This means that an asca survivor will not get
burned out from 'rescuing' and wanting to help others in need.
- there is also a good section about how to help someone who
abuses drugs and alcohol.
- "How to Talk so Kids will Listen & Listen so kids will talk" by Adele
Faber and Elaine Mazlish"
- this is an excellent book for parents
- even if you don't have kids, an excellent book to develop better
and more effective listening skills.
- innovative ways on how to cope with your child's negative
feelings, how to express your anger without being hurtful, how to
set firm limits and still maintain goodwill, how to use
alternatives to punishment, how to resolve family conflicts easily
and alternatives to "No".
- "Unconditional Parenting: moving from rewards and punishment to
love and reason" by Alfie Kohn
- great book to help parents understand what true unconditional
love means. It examines why the reward and punishment
strategies (conditional parenting) has long term implications
which are not necessarily what parents really want for their
children. Conditional parenting is about loving children for what
they do and unconditional parenting is about loving children for
who they are.
- even if you are not a parent, this is very useful for asca survivors
because it helps the survivor understand the impact of how they
were parented (or not) and how it affects them today in the way
they love - conditionally vs unconditionally.
- the big difference is conditional parenting sets up situations
where the child does something out of a sense of compulsion
such as fear of punishment, seeking approval etc.
Unconditional parenting creates the environment where children
are able to do good things and make good decisions because
they themselves believe it is the right thing to do.
- offers practical alternatives to tactics most parents use or are
tempted to use to get their children to behave
- "Parenting from the Inside Out" by Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzel
- good book, provides great examples of how parents who work
on themselves to be the best person they can be, will be great
- "The Courage to Heal: A guide for women survivors of child sexual
abuse" by Ellen Bass & Laura Davis
- excellent book with many case studies, this is even applicable
for survivors who did not suffer sexual abuse but had physical or
- how to create a no-suicide contract is useful
- good section on what to look for in a counselor
- excellent section on the healing process. Provides a thorough
break down for each stage with really good descriptions and
- from survivors. It helps set the right expectations so that you
know what to expect when going through each stage. And
provides options and different outcome scenarios.
- The healing process is broken down into: decision to heal,
emergency stage, remembering, believing it happened,
breaking silence, understanding that it wasn't your fault, the
child within, grieving, anger, disclosures and truth telling,
forgiveness, spirituality, resolution and moving on.
- "The Courage to Heal for women and men survivors of child sexual
abuse" by Laura Davis
- referral by a survivor's therapist, survivor state it really helped.
- "Addicted to misery: The other side of co-dependency" by Robert
- Recommendation from survivor.
- If you have ever asked yourself "why do i always pick the same
person, or why do i feel x (fill in with whatever negative feelings)
this book may have some answers.
- "Getting the love you want: A guide for couples" by Harville Hendrix
- recommendation from survivor
- "Boundaries: When to say yes, how to say no to take control of your
life" by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.
- Biblical based
- Good definitions of what boundaries are, identification of
boundary conflicts and how to develop healthy boundaries.
- "The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse"
by Wendy Maltz.
- recommendation by male adult survivor of sexual abuse
- Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Is a Survivor of Child
Sexual Abuse by Laura Davis
- recommendation of ASCA co-facilitator in Morris Plains.
- good book for spouses/partners of survivors and is the
companion book to the book by Laura Davis
- Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving: A Guide and Map for
Recovering from Childhood Trauma by Pete Walker
- highly recommended by ASCA survivors
The Morris Center - ASCA (adult survivors of child abuse) program
Please look in the resources section of our main ASCA web-site
http://ascasupport.org/resources.php for national resources.
The "Survivor to Thriver" manual is a free 3 stage (21 step) program for
healing and recovery http://ascasupport.org/manual.php.
ASCA Support groups are in support of this program - on-line and in
person groups list http://ascasupport.org/events.php
Pandora's Aquarium (pandys.org)
Support and resources for survivors of rape and sexual abuse. Offering
online 24/7 message boards and chat rooms for survivors of sexual
violence offering a safe and nurturing place for survivors around the
world to support each other. The forums and chat rooms are moderated,
new members have to be validated first before acceptance. There is
also support for families/spouses etc of survivors, men's only, incest only
SIA - survivors of incest anonymous for adult survivors of childhood
sexual abuse - https://siawso.org/. They have in-person, online and
resource for male sexual abuse survivors and also support for family
members, friends and partners. includes 24/7 helpline chat and weekly
online support group meetings.
Education and support for male survivors or child abuse
National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (NAASCA)
Their mission is to help abused adults get into recovery. They also
actively advocate for a better understanding of the many issues that
surround the problem of child abuse in America. The founder Bill Murray
and team hosts a daily internet radio show . They talk about everything
and anything related to recovery from child abuse.
You can also contact Bill directly at 323-552 6150 or email
Bmurray3rd@aol.com (please add NAASCA to your subject line)
Useful list of resources in California:
Darkness to Light
Educational resource for survivors, parents and professionals
This is a very active online forum. The content can be triggering for
some, and the beginning of each post will have trigger warnings. The
community is active and supportive.
SFFAF - Support group for Family and Friends
The Coalition for Family Harmony
provides support groups for incest/molestation, rape sexual assault and
domestic violence in the Oxnard area.
ACA- adult children of alcoholics and dysfunctional families
12 step healing program with internet, phone, skype or local support
California Free Mental Health Line
Provide non-emergency emotional support for those struggling with
mental and emotional well-being. The free service is available to anyone
who calls or texts the California Peer-Run Warm Line at 1-855-845-7415.
Mon- Fri from 7 a.m. until 11 pm, Sat from 7 a.m. until 3 pm,
Sun from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Informational site on how to quit alcohol, treatment services and rehab
centers, dangers of drinking and driving.
4. additional resources
5. domestic violence resources
Santa Clarita Shelter
serve the needs of low-income and homeless individuals of the Santa
Clarita Valley by raising community awareness, providing services, and
coordinating volunteer, city, county, state and federal services. The
Santa Clarita Emergency Winter Shelter (EWS) open from approximately
Dec.1 through March 15 each year, providing shelter, food, clothing,
medical and mental services as well as other assistance and referrals
to its clients.
Additionally, because minors are not permitted to stay at the EWS,
qualifying local families with children receive shelter in a local motel
through the SCCDC's voucher program.
Single Mother's Outreach
provides support and resource for single parents regardless of gender
struggling through the effects of divorce or the death of a spouse.
26881 Ruether Avenue, Santa Clarita, CA 91351
Mary Magdalene Project
provides assistance to women and families in leaving, and never
returning, to prostitution lifestyles.
- residential program, drop-in center, transitional living program,
family reunification and crisis intervention and emergency
7136 Haskell Ave., Suite 125, Van Nuys, CA 91406
6. other local resources
1. counselling services:
the resources below are organised into the following sections:
- counselling services for sexual assault, abuse, incest & interpersonal
violence/domestic violence or substance abuse
- suicide prevention
- legal assistance
- additional resources - online, shelters, etc
- domestic violence resources
- other local resources