Content/Trigger Warning: This episode discusses issues of child sexual abuse. Some listeners may find the content of this episode disturbing. Please do not listen to this episode if this content will be disturbing or triggering for you. If you are a victim of childhood sexual abuse, or you want to report abuse, please utilize the following resources:
- National Children’s Alliance | www.nca-online.org |1-800-239-9950.
- Darkness to Light’s Helpline | 1-866-FOR-LIGHT
- ChildHelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline | 1-800-4-A-CHILD
April is Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month — a month dedicated to education, advocacy, and hearing/sharing the stories of child sexual abuse victims.
My niece Ango became a victim of sexual abuse beginning at the age of 10 — a story that unfortunately carried on until her later teenage years, weaving a dark and expansive web of control, manipulation, and toxicity within her own family. Her story has taken years to unfold. Recovery from her abuse has been a long and confusing process for everyone involved. Today, Ango works to educate others about the reality of child sexual abuse as well as advocate for victims past and present.
In part two of this two-part series, Ango shares what the process of justice-seeking and recovery has been like for her. As a fierce advocate for victims and an impassioned educator, Ango is eager to share her story of child sexual abuse in the hopes that it can help others who are currently in, or have been in, similar situations.
This story is powerful and raw, and it needs to be heard.
Bringing an End to The Abuse
Ango suffered abuse for nearly six years, beginning before she was 11 years old. Once she was in her late teens, her truth came to the surface. Her mother witnessed some of the abuse taking place, and immediately took action to support Ango and hear her story. Unfortunately, as is the case with many victims, years of manipulation and grooming had taken a significant toll on Ango, and telling her truth was an incredibly confusing and painful process.
She, along with the rest of her immediate family, went into hiding from her abuser. They contacted the authorities. Over the course of one month, an investigation was conducted to convict her abuser for his crimes.
Sharing Her Child Sexual Abuse Story
As they waited for their legal team to form their case, Ango and her family patiently waited and began working together toward recovery. Once Ango learned that she had the opportunity to deliver a victim impact statement, she began writing out her story on paper.
Eventually, the day arrived for the trial to begin. Ango recalls the moment as something she was prepared for. She felt empowered, safe, and supported by her “entourage”. Ango walked into the courtroom flanked by her mother, her legal and support team, and her emotional support dog. She was ready to face her abuser one last time.
Ango delivered her victim impact statement. She told a story that many loved ones had yet to hear fully. She looked her abuser in the eyes, spoke her truth, and delivered justice. Not only for herself, but for so many others who were, and are, unable to tell their own stories and see their abusers answer for their crimes. Ango describes the experience as empowering, emotional, and one of the most difficult and freeing experiences of her life.
Inspiring and Educating Others
Ango and I chat in this episode about some of the many difficulties victims of child sexual abuse face. Victim-blaming, lack of evidence, and the countless struggles and roadblocks associated with coming forward with their stories.
As a victim, sharing your truth can be terrifying and conflicting. More often than not, it can be a legal nightmare. For a number of reasons, many victims are unable to share their stories. Ango says that she wants to serve as a safe haven and ally for victims like her. Someone they can share their stories with, confide in and go to for help. When she recounts the story of her abuser’s trial, she says she hopes that it can serve as justice for others like her. By telling her story, she wants to ensure other victims of child sexual abuse feel less alone.
More in This Episode
In this episode, Ango is vulnerable and honest about her personal experience with child sexual abuse. We discuss the legal process of convicting abusers/pedophiles, what it means to have a support system and tell your story, and what the recovery process means for victims of child sexual abuse.
This episode is part two of a two-part series. To listen to Part One, visit this link.