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One Brave Little Girl

When I was young - maybe 5, I was out playing with my friend and we found a small dog.  We thought we should walk the neighborhood to find its owner.  We searched for quite some time when a teenage boy pulled up in a truck beside us.  He was nice and said he would help us look.  We climbed in the truck; my friend sat beside him and I sat by the door. 

We drove around the neighborhood ... then he turned down an alley. I'll never know why, but my friend, only a couple years older than me leaned down and whispered in my ear, "If anything happens, pretend you're tired and go get my brothers and bring them here." I whispered back, "OK".

Something did happen.  He stopped the truck and asked my friend if she had ever seen a boy's peepee - while simultaneously unzipping his pants and reveling his.  He asked her to touch it.  As I watched what was happening my friend looked at me and I knew.  I rubbed my eyes and said, "I'm tired, I'm going home." I opened the truck door, got out, walked to the end of the alley and then ran as fast as I could to her house, and told her brothers what was happening.

I remember speaking with the police about the incident and I know he was caught, but what I don't know is how she knew what to do.  I don't know how she must have felt when she put all her faith in a 5 year old. I don't know how she felt when I left her alone with her abuser.  I don't know if she knew she was protecting me.  What I do know is that she will always be the bravest person I will ever know.

Girl in Daisies Field

No Longer Silent

After a religious child abuse awareness program, an older woman approached our presenter and shared that her grandfather had abuse her and her cousins as children. This woman had kept her secret as a child, a teen, a young adult, a wife and through motherhood. Only after her cousin mentioned the abuse on family road trip, did the four 60-somethings disclose their secret, shared experiences. It took 50 years for this woman to be heard. She shared that no one spoke about “these things” when she was young. And since no one talked about it she felt very ashamed and alone most of her life. At 66, she was finally able to have someone acknowledge that it was not her fault, that she did nothing to be ashamed of and that she was not the only person this had happened to.


She was grateful the adult program was offered to people working with children and even more grateful that children were learning things she wished she had heard from someone, just once over her lifetime.

Upper body photoshoot

Survivors of abuse and their families often feel as though they are the only people this has ever happened to.
Unfortunately, we know that -

- 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will undergo a sexual assault before age 18
- 28% of child maltreatment victims are no more than 2 years old
- 77% of children were victimized by a parent, in substantiated child abuse cases

- every 68 seconds an American is sexually assaulted
- 1 in 4 women and 1 in 26 men have experienced full or attempted sexual assault
- 80% of sexual assault victims know their attacker

- every 9 seconds in the U.S., a woman is battered by her husband or partner
- 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner
- 72% of all murder suicides involve an intimate partner

You Are Not Alone!

Share how abuse has affected you or your family

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