Victim Impact: Listen and Learn (Child Sexual Abuse, Story 2)
The video in this series (NCJ 223072) features the first-person account of Ron who shares his experience as victim of child abuse and the ripple effect that victimization can have on family members and the community at large. A companion online only training curriculum is also available and includes a two part facilitator manual and a participant workbook.
It was part of my childhood to be beaten so badly that my eyes would be swollen shut for days on end. I had an uncle who was . . . he was a sadist. He was brutal. He was... He was absolutely insane. And I suffered beatings at his hands time and time and time again. He would be the only father figure that I would know as a child because my mother and him lived together all throughout the earliest part of my childhood. My mother was as well . . . she was a violent person. Any small thing that annoyed her, it was taken out on us kids.
My mother handed me over to a pedophile when I was 5, and by then, I—you would have thought that I was conditioned to handle . . . the horrors of my life, but this added a new dimension to my suffering, and I found it almost unbearable to deal with. So, as a kindergartner, I would have to leave kindergarten class and go home and have sex with this man who was in his 50s.
I remember the long walk home—and crying. And falling down and having to get back up and walking along, and falling down and crying and getting back up and walking on. I had to adjust to that situation. I had no choice but to shoulder this responsibility, and I learned that food meant sex for me.
Young in life, I would turn to drugs. And that would be a friend of mine for a long, long, long time. My journey has been an enormous struggle for me. I’ve known years and years of depression. I’ve, uh...I’ve, uh... I’ve been physically sick in times in my life. I lost my job. I had no friends. I... I assumed I would die. I never expected to live through this.
I don’t think being abused as a child goes away. There’s things that I deal with as an adult now that, uh, it’s kind of like problem . . . trouble shooting. I maintain taking care of my mental health and my emotional health, and I’ve learned over the years to be fairly good at it. I know that I am a high-functioning abuse survivor.
I have a propensity towards honesty, whereas my siblings don’t. They . . . they want to just forget it. They don’t want to think about it. But I think it’s more insidious than that. We were made to witness crimes committed against one another over and over again. It’s like we’re . . . we hold the truth, and we can’t get near one another. It’s too horrible. To even see each other is so painful.
Opinions or points of view expressed in these recordings represent those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. Any commercial products and manufacturers discussed in these recordings are presented for informational purposes only and do not constitute product approval or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Justice.