Journeys of Hope - Stories of Child Sexual Abuse Survivors
Below are the journeys that these survivors took as a result of the sexual abuse that they had to endure. In each you can see the fear, hope and triumph that were a part of their journey. May these stories help you on your own journey towards hope, peace and happiness.
Facing the Memories
Excerpt from "No Secrets, No Lies" by
Rahema is a rising administrator in one of Baltimore's social services agencies. In her power suits, her pumps, and her striking African-inspired jewelry, this thirty-seven-year-old mother of four is the epitome of the professional woman. You would never know that sixteen years ago, she was a closet junkie, as she describes it, making the grades at school while piling up arrest warrants for shoplifting or stealing, and dancing with death by sleeping with men to feed her habit.
Child Abuse Effects Are Life Long
I am a recovering alcoholic. And a good deal of that was numbing the pain of sexual abuse. Seventeen years ago I quit drinking and doing drugs. Since then my life work is to try to understand why people hurt, molest, and abuse other people. I learned that the most devastating effect, aside from physical scars, is the emotional scars. Emotional scars come from not just the crime, but further develop if an abused child does not have emotional support. Support in the form of someone to talk to, communication at home, a counselor or friend to confide in.
It Is Never Too Late
The molestation began slowly and gradually. I was eased into the abuse. His hand would slip, as he tickled me. At first I did not mind this playfulness. Then I decided to mention these instances to my mother, only to hear her reply "He's just playing. He means no harm". Within a few short weeks, his fun and games progressed to fondling.
Marilyn Van Derbur
You Have To Confront The Terror
Marilyn Van Derbur, crowned Miss America 1958, stood tall and beautiful as she possessed looks, wit, and intelligence. Van Derbur also had deep down within her, a devastating secret - one secret that even she did not speak or admit. From the age of 5 until she was 18, Marilyn's wealthy and prominent father, sexually molested her. As a coping mechanism, Van Derbur processed the tragic nightlife by dissociating herself from the abuse. She did this by creating two people or personalities within her- a daytime child and a nighttime child.
I Am Not Alone Anymore
Iím the luckiest person I know. Iíve lived to see the dream of my lifetime come true. My childhood was a cesspool of sickness. My father was evil and insane. He sexually, mentally and physically abused my sisters, my mother, and me. At a very young age, I accepted the fact that he was crazy and that I could not control or accept responsibility for that Ė that I had simply had the bad luck to be born into a sick situation.
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