Significance of the Laurel Tree

In Greek mythology, there is the story of a wood nymph named Daphne who is much like the Greek goddess Diana – independent, athletic – a huntress. In the myth, the god Apollo pursued Daphne in what would be interpreted today as a sexual attack. Daphne called to the river god for help and was transformed into a laurel tree – a symbol of victory and triumph.

The Laurel Centre represents the transformation and triumph of its clients. The laurel leaf is a symbol featured in the Centre's logo.

History of The Laurel Centre

In the early 1980's those working in the addictions field realized that many addicted women – up to 80% – were also struggling to overcome the trauma resulting from childhood sexual abuse. Many were unable to deal with their addictions due to the lasting impact of trauma.

At the time there were no services for women that treated addictions and abuse together. To meet this need, the Women's Post Treatment Centre was founded in 1985. In 1997 the centre changed its name to The Laurel Centre.

The Centre has evolved and grown into one of the most respected organizations of its kind and has gained recognition across the country for its unique contribution to women's health.

Who is eligible for this service?

Any female-identifying or gender diverse individual (aged 16+) dealing with the long-term effects of childhood and/or adolescent sexual abuse. Male-identifying individuals are encouraged to contact the Men's Resource Centre to access our Male Childhood Sexual Abuse (MCSA) Program htts://mens-resource-centre.ca/programming.htms

Effects of unresolved trauma

Many adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse experience common issues including:

Depression - Anxiety - Drug and/or alcohol dependence - Compulsive Coping behaviours - Feelings of shame, guilt, and worthlessness - Anger - Struggling in relationships - Problems with sex and intimacy - Trust issues - Nightmares and flashbacks - Suicide ideations and self harm.

The World Health Organization defines child sexual abuse (CSA) as:

The involvement of a child in sexual activity that he or she does not fully comprehend, is unable to give informed consent to, or for which the child is not developmentally prepared and cannot give consent, or that violate the laws or social taboos of society. Child sexual abuse is evidenced by this activity between a child and an adult or another child who by age or development is in a relationship of responsibility, trust or power, the activity being intended to gratify or satisfy the needs of the other person. This may include but is not limited to: the inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity; the exploitative use of child in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices; the exploitative use of children n pornographic performances and material.