"April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month"

By Connie Robillard, MA, LCMHC


I have sat in front of my television set, like most of you, with coffee cup in hand watching channel 9 news.  Rare is a day without a report that a child has been stalked, kidnapped, physically or sexually abused or murdered.


Emotional abuse doesn’t make the headlines there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day to report it all of the events.


Child abuse is an epidemic in NH. It is cold comfort to know that we are not alone. All across our country crimes against children are on the rise.


As a psychotherapist my role has been to help individuals and families repair the after affects of crimes against children. At times that means helping an older person heal from abuse that occurred a half century ago. Many people attempt to manage symptoms on their own.


Sexual abuse is a powerfully negative experience – It affects mind and body at the same time. Its invasive nature changes how children and adults think about themselves and the world around them. Once trust is broken and secrecy permeates, maladaptive behavioral patterns continue into adulthood in the form of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, substance abuse and disruption in the ability to make choices that are life enhancing.


The answers for stopping the abuse of children are complex. Parents, teachers, medical professionals are the ones in a position to make a difference in keeping kids safe.  There is still so much to be learned about protecting children. A parent of a sexually abused child recently said – “stranger danger training is a band aid. We tell our children not to talk to strangers, get in their cars or go with them.” We feel better but our children remain at risk – strangers do abuse children but most are sexually abused by people they know and trust.”


We know this but when it happens it continues to be a surprise every time.  We hear neighbor’s interviewed by news reporters say – “our neighbor was such a nice person, what a shock, why is this happening?”


People who abuse children, for the most part, are likeable and seem to show a special interest in children. This is confusing because there are lots of good people who show special interest in our children.


What can you do?


Educate yourself about the signs of child sexual abuse


Listen to your child. Children do not speak the language of adults – they speak with their bodies. They cry, get tummy aches, let us know in various ways they want to go….listen to them.


Be there – Tag along to children’s events – be present.


Talk to other parents – When someone else is concerned – listen.

When you get a gut feeling – listen to yourself.


To make the error of being rude or discourteous to an innocent person is a small price to pay to keep your child safe.


Connie Robillard and Marcel A. Duclos co-authored the book “Common Threads: Stories of Life After Trauma, which is available on their website: www.TheBookCommonThreads.com. Both Connie and Marcel also recently released a documentary film about the book. The film premiered at Southern NH University in Manchester, NH. and was accepted in the Woman’s International Film Festival in Miami Florida. Their film was one of only 100 films that were accepted worldwide.


Contact Connie Robillard



Spring- the time of hopeful new possibilities


The Documentary:

Common Threads: Stories of Life After Trauma


The purpose of this film is to honor the children and adults who’s worlds have been rocked by abuse. The goal is to bring awareness, information & the hope of help – both in prevention, child/ adult safety…and in the care/ self care of those who have already been hurt…


Words from our film Premiere At Southern New Hampshire University:


“this is my film, I see myself.”


“ this is a mirror of my life – I don’t

  feel so alone…”


“This is the inner world of abuse that I live with.”


This is a film of beauty, hope and new possibilities.


View Documentary Film Information


On April 4th, 2008, Common Threads was shown at the International Women’s Film Festival in Miami Florida – It was selected from films around the world & was one of only 100 films shown for this festival.


We want to extend our Congratulations to Amber Ward for her artistry and sensitivity in the creation of this unique film.


Connie and Marcel are willing to bring this film to your community


Call to make a reservation:

603-432-0581 or e-mail connierobillard@aol.com




Sexual abuse affects:  1 out of every 3 girls...

and 1 out of every 5 boys




View Documentary Film Information


NH Counseling Association


Certified IFS Therapists

Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors


Connie Robillard, MA


Connie is now on facebook

What's New?


Connie and Marcel's new book "Cultivating Hope With Abuse Survivors has been released and is now available!

Click Here!

More Info!




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