Sexual Abuse

Stopping Child Abuse in Real Time

Erin MerrynSeptember 14, 2017
Policies that Help Kids
A man in my home state of Illinois will spend the next 40 years behind bars as the consequence of sexually abusing his girlfriend’s daughter. The abuse started when she was just three. Sadly, this sort of tragic story is unremarkable in America. But what is remarkable is how the abuse stopped at age seven.The girl broke her silence immediately to teachers after a class presentation on personal body safety. This presentation was required under E...Continue

When Does Abuse End and Assault Begin?

Karen FarstMarch 6, 2017
Insights
While child sexual abuse can take many forms, it is typical for the child (and family) to know the offender. The offender uses this relationship to “groom” the child so that abuse can involve more invasive physical contact over time. This grooming process is not only part of the reason that there is often not physical evidence of the abuse once it is disclosed, but is also part of the dynamic that causes more than half of sexual abuse victims...Continue

An Open Letter to Warriors

Katya EstesDecember 8, 2016
Personal Narratives
At 10 a.m., on July 12, 2016, I was given the chance to use my voice against something that has kept me silent for years. I testified against my grandfather, who took from me my innocence, dignity, and hope. On the stand that day, I wore several pieces of jewelry I received from victims, who endured traumatizing experiences but never had a chance at justice. The pieces symbolized strength, inspiration, and encouragement to show that abuse is a tr...Continue

The Coda of Abuse

Deondra BrownNovember 28, 2016
Personal Narratives
As a concert pianist, I have the opportunity to perform music I love for people all over the world. It is a dream. It is a joy beyond words. But don’t let my smile fool you. My journey has not been without great obstacles, some of which I will face the rest of my life.I would never have fathomed that my father could sexually abuse me. Nothing can prepare you for that breach of trust and the type of sorrow and loss that occurs. When I came forwa...Continue

A Child’s Best Defense Is Her Voice. Here’s How We Amplify It

Erin MerrynSeptember 23, 2016
Policies That Help Kids
“A guy called Officer Friendly comes to school and teaches us not to answer the door when your parents are not home and don’t talk to strangers. They don’t teach us about people like my cousin Brian. I thought people like Brian jumped out of bushes and attacked you at night.”Those are the words out of my diary when I was 12 years old. For six years of my life I was sexually abused and raped by two different men. I didn’t break my silenc...Continue