Hi my name is Charlie. I was hurt badly by someone I trusted and loved. My father sexually abused me, hit me a lot and talked badly to me. Finally when I was 8 years old, I got the courage to tell my Nana and my mom what my father had done. But I was also scared about telling because one time he said, “I would kill you if you told anyone about this.” After telling my family, it felt like the weight of the world rolled off my shoulders. They supported me, cared for me and assured me that I was doing the right thing. From that day on, my mother did not allow me to see my father again. I was happy about this and felt safe.

Then I went to JCCA and found caring social workers who helped me understand that I am a good person and that what happened to me does not define who I am as a person. Because my father sexually abused me doesn’t change my personality. I am funny, talented and a very caring person, and people love to be around me. I am strong, brave, courageous and confident. I will overcome what has happened to me and be just like any other kid. I even joined a leadership group at JCCA and felt good about that.

If what has happened to me is happening to you, I would encourage you to tell an adult (an aunt, uncle, mom, dad, grandparents, teacher or even the school guidance counselor). You may think that the people you love and trust the most won’t do something terrible, but it happened to me, and I was strong enough to make the abuse stop by opening up to my family.