I was an artistic, emotional, curious, energetic 7 year old child. This is the age my abuse began. I did not know at the time what was happening to me. This man was a friend of my parents and also my baseball coach. I was sent to spend the night with this man for what would be the next 6 years. In junior high school, boys my age began talking about sex. Right then and there I learned what this man was doing to me was wrong. I had no one I could talk to about this situation. I have six brothers and three sister’s and I couldn’t tell my dad for sure or he would have been in prison for murder. My dad had a temper and the betrayal from a man he considered a friend. This information would have only hurt and affected many lives and my mother would have been burden with raising ten kids alone with no money to do it. So it was all laid on me to carry this my entire life of living my life a shy, broken kid. I thought of killing myself a few times just to end my pain. I felt I was all alone and the only kid in the world this was happening to.

I went through life feeling dirty. The signs were there when I was young but they were missed in a home with ten kids, you can understand how it would be missed. I began to draw pictures and really listening to music as both calmed me. What I cant understand how in the world could the laws protect these abuser’s from going to prison by preventing this after 10 years. when the victim is automatically given a life sentence. I am a 52 yr old man now and every time I see a child about the age I was when this happened ,it all comes to the surface and I hope but wonder “little boy or girl, is this happening to you?” It is an awful feeling that comes to the surface like the ugly feelings I have when I relive what happened to me decades ago. At times I will tear up while I am with someone and they ask “Rob are you alright?”  Again I say I’m fine like I have always done when inside I’m dying but I can’t tell you what it really is.

So I am living my life the best way I can to be the best person I can. I feel I am just a little dented for life.

—Rob, Survivor

Do you know how to recognize the signs of abuse? Would you know how to or where to turn for help? 

Visit: www.americanspcc.org/indicators-child-abuse/

You could help save the life of a child!

August 22, 2018