As a very young child, I was subjected to sexual abuse until I was seven years old. When I was twelve, my parents and I went to Micronesia as missionaries with Evangelism Missions Inc. I loved it! I learned the language, embraced the culture, and eventually became interpreter for our mission church. My abuse became a distant memory?buried and unaddressed.
Years later, still deep in the clutches of my church affiliation, I married a man who was physically abusive?with the church?s backing?under the doctrine of ?Biblical Patriarchy?. Then the unthinkable happened. I discovered my children were being sexually abused. My world crashed around me.
I wish I could say I was strong and tenacious. I wasn?t. The knowledge of my children?s abuse filled me with such pain I could barely function. Guilt engulfed me. How could this have happened? I?d been abused myself?Shouldn?t I have been able to recognize the signs? This trauma triggered my own unresolved past, resulting in PTSD and severe anxiety disorder. The lack of support from our friends?especially within the church?astounded me. We were told to forgive and honor our abuser. They strictly instructed us to be silent, even telling us not to press charges, stating that ?speaking out about our abuse gave the church?and thus, Jesus Christ?a bad name?. He only served an 18-month sentence. Following his release, he was brought back into church leadership.
After some very confusing years, and then some amazing intensive therapy, I finally left my toxic church affiliation?and my marriage?and began the slow, upward path toward what I now refer to as "active healing". I was amazed to learn more about Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) and its effects on us as adults. I surrounded myself with life-changing resources?and positive support.
Today, I am a court-certified translator/interpreter, co-owner of a real estate investment company, and the founder of Always a VoiceŽ. I am the International Spokesperson for Stop the SilenceŽ and an Ambassador/Advocate with the CSA Survivor Force, a national media outreach group under Stop the SilenceŽ (https://stopthesilence.org/csa-survivor-force/). In March 2017, I was awarded the title of Mrs. District of Columbia US Continental 2017. Currently I am pursuing my MA in Counseling/Biblical Theology and daily strive to use my experiences to offer hope and encouragement to other survivors.
I am remarried and my family is thriving?more than I would have thought possible! My children have gone on to use their own voices through music, dance, art, education. Some are directly fighting against sex-trafficking and child abuse.
My passion and goal is to empower those who have no voice--or those just finding their voices--and to raise awareness on how to better recognize signs of abuse and how to combat precise issues/problems relating to the ?fall out? of trauma. My next book, ?This Little Plight of MineŠ? (late 2017) speaks out against what I now define as ?Church-Sanctioned AbuseŠ?.
I am committed to use my voice (through media, newspaper, and radio), on a global level, to stop the silence and perpetuation of abuse and trauma ?one person, one dream, one step, one leap at a time.?