Clinical results show improved outcomes for child sexual abuse survivors

Above: Brandi Robinson (center) and her daughter speak to Little Warriors founder Glori Meldrum at the opening of the Be Brave Ranch on Sept. 27, 2014. Clinical trial results of the Ranch’s program were released Monday morning. – Morinville News File Photo

by Stephen Dafoe

The University of Alberta and Little Warriors announced Monday that the Be Brave Ranch’s four-week intervention program significantly reduces the psychological impacts of child sexual abuse. The announcement is based on the preliminary results of the clinical trials performed at the Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch and suggest a breakthrough for the lasting mental health of child sexual abuse survivors.

The Journal of Child and Adolescent Behaviour published the results, and U of A doctors Dr. Peter Silverstone and Dr. Jacqui Linder, who developed the Ranch’s program, say the results confirm the program’s success in the significant reduction in symptoms. Results include a 25 per cent reduction in child post-traumatic stress disorder scores (PTSD), fewer children experiencing PTSD (14 children, down from 26), and significant reductions in depression and anxiety.

“The Be Brave Ranch offers the caliber of comprehensive treatment that child sexual abuse survivors need and deserve,” said Little Warriors founder and Chair Glori Meldrum in a release Monday. “With peer support, various therapies to reach different personalities, and full program immersion, we have seen significant impacts and growth.”

Meldrum went on to say the clinical trials offer confirmation of the work she and those involved with the ranch have done.

Meldrum is not the only one pleased with the clinical results.

“Successful programs can not only reduce the suffering of child survivors but can also significantly lower future health care costs by changing the health trajectory of children,” said Dr. Peter Silverstone, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. “These initial results demonstrate that the application of multiple, intensive treatment methods can impact the individual and overarching outcomes of child sexual abuse. In layman’s terms, we have uncovered new hope for this horrific crime.”

Morinville resident among first to benefit from treatment

Morinville resident Brandi Robinson’s daughter was among the first group to receive treatment through the Ranch’s full year program when the facility opened in the fall of 2014.

“The positive results are not at all surprising to me,” Robinson said of the Apr. 18 announcement. “This is why I poured my heart and soul into this Ranch. The program was designed around what actually works, what has already been proven, and brings all of those services together in one place where children can get comprehensive, intensive healing while they’re still kids – all combined into a one-year-long program.”

Robinson said she believed it would take years to find the healing the program offers if the services were sought individually. As such, she believes many would give up and never get the treatment they need.

“Personally, my daughter was able to participate in the pilot project of the program and given her response, the fact that it has been proven effective is not at all a shock,” Robinson said. “My daughter is forever changed by her time at the ranch. The healing she received is immeasurable. The hope I received can never be expressed adequately. I’m just thrilled that the world now knows what I’ve known all along – that it is possible to return our stolen children’s childhoods to us while they are still kids. For that, I am forever a fierce Little Warriors supporter.”

The full Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior article on the Be Brave Ranch clinical trials is available online at

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