What adults can do to children sometimes defies all imagination. Stefaan Boel (62) is a psychotherapist for minors and an expert in trauma treatment. He has worked with abused and mistreated children for years and is concerned about how the justice system treats them.
“I often see how judges’ decisions can create additional trauma,” he said.
Anyone who walks into Stefaan Boel’s practice in Antwerp cannot ignore a colossal, brown teddy bear. “Do you notice that we work with children here?”; winks the clinical psychologist and doctoral researcher at UGent. The room is filled with colorful toys and soft hugs. It looks like a paradise for small children, but in reality is a place where much suffering and sorrow surface. Boel is an expert in trauma treatment and regularly works with abused or mistreated children. “I rolled into that,” he says. “Once you work around trauma, you find that it often stems from abuse. Then a world opens up in which you are confronted with horrific stories. What adults can do to children sometimes defies all imagination. Many social workers become uncomfortable when children make such disclosures and redirect them. I have just started to delve more into the matter. In time, then, you get a reputation. Having already treated many abused or maltreated children, Boel has a good understanding by now of how the justice system handles those cases. He worries.
Read the full article that appeared in “Het Laatste Nieuws” here.