One look into her icy blue eyes and you can see her pain from years past.
Today, Brenda is 51 and has turned to alcohol, meth and crack cocaine to heal her wounds, which she may not have fully known existed. She turned to prostitution and was even homeless for multiple years and the trajectory of her life was greatly changed when she was only a kid all because of child sex abuse.
Child sex abuse is a major problem in our community and across the country. The scars from the abuse can last a lifetime and Brenda, who just got into housing through the Murfreesboro Housing Authority, can confirm the pain.
According to the United States Department of Justice, only 30% of sexual assault cases are reported. Brenda was one of the cases that never went to police over 40 years ago. Furthermore, many children wait until adulthood to tell of the abuse, which is often too late as alcoholism, drug abuse and more have already manifested itself in the victim.
As for Brenda, her step father later died and she suggested that she confronted him while he was in the hospital. While he never admitted to it, she said he did apologize.
Listen to the full interview below (7 MIN and 26 SEC):
Some good news in the arrests of perpetrators… In years past, child sex abuse was not as heavily investigated as it is today. In the past, false information was promoted by professionals that children frequently reported false accounts of abuse. Over the years it was realized that such ideas lacked systematic evidence that false allegations are common, according to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
“The greater a child’s terror, and the earlier it is experienced, the harder it becomes to develop a strong and healthy sense of self.” ― Nathaniel Branden, Six Pillars of Self-Esteem
To report suspected child abuse of any kind in Tennessee, call 877-237-0004 and remain anonymous. You can also report suspected abuse online at https://apps.tn.gov/carat/.