Like so many others, I too was sexually abused. From infancy to 18 years old I was abused by my father who was a Sunday school teacher, military retiree, husband of 30 years and liked by all who met him. In my own home, by own father, my life was one of terror, pain , shame and confusion. He had controlled the situation so closely no one would suspect him. I felt alone and even worse I felt inferior. I was convinced my life was not as valuable as the those around me. While there is much more to my story I am thankful my father was prosecuted and I, and my family, have been able to heal tremendously. I now have a wonderful life . Not only have I survived, I have thrived! I like to think of myself as a Thriver. There is beauty beyond the pain and life is simply waiting to be lived. I am grateful for the support I received from family, friends and our community and I am thrilled with the mission of Champions For Children. Together we can make a difference. Together we can be the voice of those silently suffering.
“The work Champions For Children: Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads engages in is vital, not only for the society at large, but ultimately for the safety and well-being of the most vulnerable.
“If we as a community are not willing to know the truth and facts about abuse, we are providing a safe haven for perpetrators to actively seek and act out their malicious intentions. In over 90% of reported sexual abuse cases, the abuser is well known by the family and the survivor.”
– Abuse survivor, Hampton Roads
“As a survivor of sexual abuse, I am so grateful for an organization like Champions for Children, who have made it easy to open a dialog for a once taboo subject. It truly takes everyone to keep children safe. The best part is that we don’t have to do it alone.”
-VTS, School Director
I am a survivor of abuse and my story is like many, many others. The person who did this to me was a teacher, a coach, a well-respected community member, a church attendee and a trusted confidant. All of the adults around me–teachers, coaches, family, etc.–simply did not have protective measures in place; they also didn’t know what the red flags were. It was their worst nightmare, and it was the life I found myself in.
We can make a difference as Champions For Children, and, as a survivor, I cannot thank the organization enough for the work they do to educate and advocate for the children of today and tomorrow.
– Vida, Hampton Roads Resident
It can happen to any child, anywhere, at any time, and you wouldn’t even know it was happening. I was an outgoing, popular and outspoken child…except I had no voice when it came to my abuser. No one had ever even suspected I was being sexually molested by a family member.
– VTS, School Director