ST. GEORGE – When the Penn State child sex abuse scandal broke, high profile people such as Goldie Taylor came forth to tell their story. For many, the charges against Jerry Sandusky compelled them to speak out against their own abusers.
When Taylor appeared on “The Last Word” to share her story for the first time, Jennifer Austin, a former Utah journalist, wrote on her blog how stories such as Taylor’s can inspire others to come forward, seek help and find peace.
The response Austin received on social media sites, as well as the blog itself, reminded her of a harsh reality – there are many victims of child sexual abuse.
While many parents still teach their children the “stranger danger” message, the sad fact is more than 90 percent of children who are sexually abused know their perpetrators.
In her new book, “Use Your Voice: What We Can Learn From Child Sex Abuse Cases,” Austin interviews real victims willing to share their stories. Some victims feel that the abuse was their own fault, and therefore if anyone knew what they had been through they would never be accepted, wanted or loved by a normal human being. Manipulators and abusers are skilled at picking out these people who may be convinced that they “asked for it.”
Use Your Voice highlights the problems with taking the blame for sexual abuse or hiding it from others. The book details how to empower children to speak out, how to look for the warning signs, the long-term effects of abuse, prevention, recovery and how the legal system works.
Initially written for the Kindle for parents to read in one or two sittings with a list of websites for further help, Use Your Voice is also available in paperback.
You can find the Kindle edition here.
You can also buy the paperback edition from Amazon here.
Jennifer Austin is the founder and former editor of St. George News. Her book, subject of this article, was edited by current St. George News Editor-in-Chief, Joyce Kuzmanic.