Survivors are uniquely qualified to teach us how abuse happens and how to prevent it. Even more important, those who have had the courage to cross the bridge from victim to a place of peace can inspire and guide others to do the same. We will have the opportunity in this hour to experience the encouragement and wisdom of two such survivors as they share their stories of abuse and how they're advocacy work is making a difference.
Diane Cranley Interviews:
Marjorie McKinnon - Marjorie has been writing since the age of thirteen, when she wrote poetry to hide her pain. Despite her father's confession in her mid-thirties about an incestuous relationship he'd had with her that began when she was thirteen, she had buried all memories of the childhood trauma. She had run away from home when she was eighteen and spent the next 27 years going from one abuser to another. During that time she was hospitalized twice for suicide attempts, spent time in a women's shelter and raised four children as a single mother. During recovery she wrote about her experience and what it was like to emerge on the other side of "the bridge of recovery" It is a chronicle of growing up in small Midwestern towns in a Catholic family and of hiding her anguish behind words, poetry that she termed her inner voices. It is also a detailed account of the journey one takes in going from a place of despair to one of joy. That book, titled Let Me Hurt You and Don't Cry Out became her first attempt to publish. When Marjorie was half way through recovery she found out that her two older daughters had been sexually abused by her second husband. Her youngest daughter had been raped at gunpoint while working at a fast food place when she was 17. This so totally accents the reality that child sexual abuse is a multi-generational problem.
Rhett Hackett - Rhett is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. At the age of 12 a neighbor betrayed him until the age of 17 while growing up at the New Jersey Shore. In 2005 he sought out professional help with a psychologist and eventually joined the Malesurvivor organization. After attending a Weekend Of Recovery he continued with therapy, smaller group sessions, and facilitating on-line discussions on recovery. In 2010, he went public with his abuse on the Oprah Winfrey Show - 200 Men Sexually Abused where he detailed the events of his abuse in pre-taped footage that aired on both episodes. He continued to go public with his story through articles in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, WHYY's Radio Times Show, and ABC's "Perspective New Jersey" and is pursuing publishing a book that he wrote in 2006 about his story of abuse. He also publicly speaks out on behalf of other male survivors, & supports the Children's Alliance of Philadelphia. He has provided testimony at the NJ Senate Judiciary Hearings and is committed to continually raising awareness, promote healing, prevention, and prosecution related to sexual abuse, and recently performed in an off Broadway play on the topic. He'll be married 21 years this December and has two children.