“I sought help through talking therapy and overcame panic disorder and unhealthy relationship patterns.”

I have been observing the oral submissions being made against the birth certificates bill. As a few of the speakers have already pointed out, sexual abuse can lead to various sexual behaviours in children/adolescence which re-enforce the negative self images developed as a result of being sexually abused. 

Sexual abuse is the most evil assault against the sanctity and dignity of the human body and soul, and to experience this level of assault as a child is an incomprehensible and indescribable experience of pain , shame, self loathing and mamae.  

In my experience, sexual abuse lays a ‘blueprint’ for understanding and participating in all your future relationships, including the one you have with yourself.  

I did not experience gender dysphoria, however, I engaged in a lot of unhealthy relationships and sexual behaviours as an adolescent and young woman (ones that I see are now celebrated as a normal expression of sexuality). 

The behaviours I described led to the re-enforcement of my self belief that I was shameful, bad and unworthy of respect and love.  Nevertheless, thanks to God first and foremost, I sought help through talking therapy and overcame panic disorder and unhealthy relationship patterns. 

I am a grounded woman and am a mother and wife.  The 8 years of counselling that I received was life-changing and words cannot describe how grateful I am to have met the psychotherapist that supported my healing journey. 

As a result, I am incredibly passionate and obligated to the protection of childhood innocence (a RIGHT of children) and parental rights to protect their children. 

Any parent knows that when a child is acting out its because something is bothering them so it is extremely concerning that instead of having access to therapy for sexuality issues, we are supposed to re-enforce them as a normal state. 

As I said earlier, re-enforcing unwanted behaviours only re-enforces the underlying belief system of the child who is acting out. 

I am a health professional who has worked with youth and children and hold a Master of Health Science on an intergenerational trauma theory so feel some-what qualified to voice my opinion from a professional standpoint also. 

Finally, thank you for providing a platform to speak-up for our tamariki – our precious future generation who are born exactly how they was intended to be. 

# Tina is not her real name.

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