Each year, official government reports indicate that more than 62,000 children are sexually abused. The numbers are especially staggering for girls aged 14-17, of whom researchers estimate more than 17% have experienced sexual abuse.
Words cannot describe what it feels like to watch thousands of strangers stand up and say, "You are beautiful and I not only believe in you, I want to do anything I can to help you. Thank you for being my voice!" Thousands of survivors have shared their stories with me.
Original illustration by Jake Reeves. When I was seven years old I was raped by a neighbor and dear friend of our family. Everyone thought he w...
It's not terribly surprising to learn that many trafficking victims have been exploited in a hotel. An NGO recently launched #DoesYourHotelKnow, a new awareness campaign that alerts hotels and travelers on what to do if we think it's happening (key: you don't have to be certain, that's up to the authorities to figure out).
My experience as a victim once included shame, and now being a victim is a simple fact: My perpetrator abused me, and as a result I was hurt. I still experience that hurt, but the shame I once felt does not belong to me.
Wildlike, a debut film written and directed by Frank Hall Green, is a nuanced, troubling, uplifting, beautifully rendered meditation on manhood and fatherhood. Its themes are timeless yet firmly rooted in here-and-now.
Too often the initial choice to punish and incarcerate an abused girl sets in motion a vicious cycle of abuse and imprisonment that continues throughout her life. In fact, a girl with a history of sexual abuse is five times more likely to be re-arrested once released.
Just over a week ago, the UN Administrative and Budget Committee brought forth a resolution to define the priorities of the Member States with respect to peacekeeping, whistleblowing and, among other things, sex abuse. The resolution makes clear certain obvious features of UN peacekeeping that most casual observers don't immediately think of.
For Children's Advocacy Centers, many of our most heart-wrenching cases involve families in which sibling abuse has occurred. Parents are distraught about the victimization of one child, while terribly worried about the legal consequences to another child.
Perhaps the most enduring and pervasive American myth concerning child sexual abuse is that nice guys don't molest children; and it's a pernicious myth because it denies the reality of a victim's suffering.
Jim Bob claims that, "This wasn't rape or anything like that. This was touching over the clothes." This perception that touching is somehow less traumatic than penetration is not only false, it is incredibly damaging to victims, and helps perpetuate a culture of victim-blaming.
I was an awkward, skirted-suit-wearing 7-year-old my first day of swim team practice in 1984. My participation on a USA Swimming team improved my confidence, provided me with life-long friends, and helped me develop physical fitness that I still maintain today as a 37-year-old mother of four. It was also in this context that I met my coach and rapist, Christopher Huott.
It may be too late, with statute of limitations, for these victims to have a criminal process and unfortunately I don't understand what civil options they may have available to them today. But let's give these young women an opportunity to have a true, un-coached voice.
Kathy's counselor helped her realize that the trauma of her childhood sexual abuse had resurfaced because she was now bringing her own child into the world. With therapy, Kathy was able to come to terms with the abuse and finally begin to heal.
Three months later, her amazement has turned into action, which is not surprising from a 34-year-old woman who was strong enough to survive years of sexual violence, which began as early as the age of seven.
Ever since Jerry Sandusky became a household name and rocked the national sports landscape, it also shined the spotlight on a chilling topic that all too often gets shoved to the side because it's too uncomfortable and unpleasant to talk about.