As a therapist, I have worked in the field of sex abuse, with families, offenders, and parents of sexually abused children, for 24 years. Both my Master's thesis and PhD dissertation focused on research conducted with mothers of sexually abused children. I completed my thesis research in a Sex Abuse Intervention program, studying treatment effects for mothers of sexually abused children. The research for my dissertation looked for correlations between the disclosure of a child's sex abuse, symptoms of initial acute trauma, development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and health issues. Results were significant, showing that mothers experience acute trauma, that the majority of mothers studied met criteria for PTSD, and that most mothers had a higher than normal number of significant health issues that persisted for years after the disclosure. 

As an independent project during my doctoral education, I created a website for mothers of sexually abused children: MOSAC, found at The MOSAC site is designed specifically for mothers who have experienced the sexual abuse of one of their children. Although fathers also suffer when a child is the victim of sexual abuse, women and mothers have specific issues related to their role and relationship to the victim. Most mothers say that they need and want help following the disclosure of a child's abuse. This site is designed to be a comprehensive source of information about sexual abuse and to offer support and resources to mothers.

Mothers often have no one around them that understands what they are going through, and they may have very little support. Sometimes mothers are blamed by others and told that the abuse is their fault. They are often given harmful advice and told not to believe the child or not to report. If the perpetrator is the mother's partner or one of her other children, feelings of pain, anger, and confusion increase. Difficult decisions are required in order to protect children. If the perpetrator is a husband, partner, other family member, or friend, mothers experience feelings of betrayal. It may be far easier to accept that a stranger has abused your child, even though a devastating discovery, than to find out that someone you loved and trusted harmed your child.

The goal of the MOSAC site is to be comprehensive, providing as much information and as many resources to mothers as possible. My goal in creating this site in 2010 was to offer mothers the information, support, and resources that would provide them the best opportunity to support and protect their child.  

"The only journey is the one within."
Rainer Maria Rilke