After getting my hair and makeup done in a room with Olympic gold medalists from this summers Olympics it was off to Carnegie Hall. I walked the red carpet as what seemed like a 100 cameras were all flashing at once and different men saying my name to look at them, to the side, tilt your head, over here, back here, etc. It was crazy! Then all the other reporters there from Access Hollywood, Entertainment tonight, etc. Once I was done with the red carpet I met back up with my assigned assistant for the night and my boyfriend David where we were taken to the green room where we would be with several other women of the year.
The event went for 2 1/2 hours before we went to the VIP dinner where we talked with many celebrities as seen in my video. Several Glamour staff told me how moving my story was and asked me if it was hard watching the video that retold my childhood and then getting up on a stage moments later and speaking before 3,000 people. I told them not at all. I wasn’t the least bit nervous but there was something I thought about as that video played. I looked around for a second at all of Carnegie Hall and saw thousands of people hear me telling my story in the video. It made me think about the diary I kept secrets of sexual abuse in because my voice was silenced and the sidewalk I once stood at with my best friend just outside her house making a pinky promise I would never tell what her uncle had just done. Both these men had something of mine and that was my voice. A voice that took me so many years to finally allow to be heard and suddenly here I am having it heard on stage in front of 3,000 at Carnegie Hall.
A voice once locked away silenced in a diary filled with details of repeat abuse threatened that nobody would believe me, this is our little secret, I have no proof, and that I would destroy a family.”
Your looking at the sidewalk right by the bushes I made a pinky promise with my best friend the day I ran out of her house after being raped by her uncle. Her house WAS where the large one is on the right but it was torn down and this big one built. If you notice the rest of the houses in the court are still ranch homes. The only one gone was a house that hid secrets behind closed doors. You have no idea what it does for me to see that house gone. I wish I could have been the one to bulldoze it down or light the match and watch it burn to the ground. That home carried terrible memories for me. I wish when that house was bulldozed the memories I carry could have gone with it. Unfortunately that is not the way it works. My voice was locked away in that home. The only one who heard my voice was the man laying on top of me as I begged him to get off. The nearly 7 yr. old that I was remembers every detail of that day. Details that go beyond just the incredible pain I felt and the fear of him killing me. The details of the evil crazed look in his eyes, his disgusting grin, the sweat pouring down the sides of his face, his white t-shirt, his large hands over my mouth silencing my voice. I can’t erase that memory and many more that have played over and over in my head so many times. I’ve accepted they will always be with me. However I discovered I could take back one thing from both the men that abused me and that was my voice.
I was a voice that went unheard for far too long because nobody was educating me on how to speak up and tell. I continued to suffer being raped and molested and can clearly see in my mind being held down on a bed at different times in my life by my abusers being molested and silenced. My innocence was killed but I am determined to preserve the innocence of every child by giving them the voice society fails to give them.
I wish every stage I speak on and every media interview I give could come directly from either the 7 or 12 year old that I once was. Unfortunately the voice of that 7 and 12 year old would remain silent enduring years of abuse and not be heard until much later in life but still early enough to spend a lifetime fighting for every other 7 and 12 year old to have a voice.
It is that 7 yr. old and 12 yr. old that I once was behind my driving force and determination to pass Erin’s Law in all 50 states. You never forget the pain and the memories never fade away. I will do everything in my power to keep other children from experiencing that pain and carrying those memories for life.
I never went after Erin’s Law for recognition. I went after it to save children from experiencing what I will always call the worst experiences of my life.
NOTHING and I mean NOTHING will stop me because as I end this I know children are going to bed carrying the same secrets I cried myself to sleep about. They are waiting for us…….give them a voice!
Please help support my nonprofit of Erin’s Law by helping me travel to all 50 states to testify.