Debenham-based foundation given record donation for sex abuse therapy

Penny Parks of the Penny Parks Foundation, based in Debenham. ANL-150312-111327001
Penny Parks of the Penny Parks Foundation, based in Debenham. ANL-150312-111327001
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A Debenham-based organisation which helps people who have been sexually abused has received its biggest-ever donation.

The partner of a woman - described by Penny Parks of the Penny Parks Foundation as one of the most emotionally scarred people she has worked with - has made a gift of £30,000.

“This young women lives in the Middle East where there is little or no therapy available for people who’ve been sexually abused,” psychotherapist Mrs Parks said. “She has lived with the effects of this trauma for 40 years and was in a very bad place when she came to me.

“We only had a limited number of days to work together but in that time I saw a huge change in her. Before, she couldn’t interact with people. Her behaviour in social situations could be aggressive and unpredicatable because she had no self-confidence or self-worth. But after working with her she was calm and in control of herself. She felt more comfortable with who she was and could finally manage her life.”

The foundation offers a therapy based on methods Mrs Parks, 72, developed to deal the abuse she suffered from her stepfather and five other men. “My stepfather was a cruel and violent man, so there was no doubt that what he was doing was wrong. However, the other men appeared caring and nice. This was confusing for me as a child. I thought all these ‘nice’ men can’t be wrong, it must be me that’s bad.”

The foundation’s approach is called PICT - Parks Inner Child Therapy - and is described as addressing the effects of the trauma rather than focusing on the details of an event. Originally from California, Mrs Parks has been offering PICT in the UK since 1985 and since then has seen more than 850 clients.