HAVE A HEART: MP Kevin Hogan and Heartfelt House ceo Kate Loubet at the announcement of government funding for the organisation.
HAVE A HEART: MP Kevin Hogan and Heartfelt House ceo Kate Loubet at the announcement of government funding for the organisation. Marc Stapelberg

$500,000 to help Heartfelt House continue its good work

FOR 13 years Heartfelt House has helped adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse create a more positive life, and for the next three years it can continue to do so with almost $500,000 in funding.

Federal member for Page Kevin Hogan announced the funding yesterday, saying the organisation could now continue to offer its services to adults, including the 18-week Taking the First Steps program.

"Funding for Heartfelt House had previously been an on ad-hoc programme by programme basis that made it very hard to maintain its services,” Mr Hogan said.

"This is the first time it has received a three-year funding guarantee which will help Heartfelt House continue with its programmes and look at expanding in areas of growing need, in particular male survivors of childhood sexual assault.”

The Taking the First Steps program is designed to create awareness, provide information, and explore thoughts, behaviours and feelings related to the trauma of past sexual abuse and how it influences participants' lives today.

More than 200 women have gone through the 18-week program since 2005, and five men's groups.

Heartfelt House chief executive Kate Loubet said she was relieved the funding had been secured and excited to expand the service.

She said about a third of participants were abused in institutions, but for the majority the abuse occurred within the family.

"We have a lot more male survivors ringing for support programs and we hope to provide that now we have secure funding,” Ms Loubet said.

She said survivors experience general relationship and intimacy issues, and often struggle with employment and education, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and parenting.

"We have about a year and a half waiting list for future participants who want to come in to the program.”



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