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If you have a moment, please provide feedback/critique of this brief trailer.  This is very rough - but you have to start somewhere.  

I was a kid, You were a man mini-movie from Roxine Behrens on Vimeo.

I am working on a documentary about child sexual abuse and the effects on victims, survivors and their surrounding families. Child Sexual abuse affects 1:5 of the population - 1:4 girls and 1:6 boys will be sexually abused by the age of 18; 90% by someone they know; 68% by a family member. My abuser was my grandfather.

Thank you in advance for your input.

Roxine Behrens


In an exclusive interview, Oprah Winfrey sits down with Matt Sandusky who, for the first time, speaks about the abuse he suffered at the hands of his adoptive father, Jerry Sandusky.

He thought he was the only one. "At bedtime, his ritual began...bedtime was the bad part" Matt says the abuse started when he was 10 years old.  

It was easy for his hero to manipulate him

"I felt people envied me instead of people looking down on me," he says. "You were the person that he chose to be beside him to do all of these things with him, and you had all of these other people—grown people—wanting to be there and be in your position."
"The picture that he paints of what went on in the Sandusky household on a nightly basis will no doubt outrage and disgust you," Oprah says. "But more importantly, what I'm hoping is it moves you to really become aware of what a child crying for help looks like." Find out why Oprah says Jerry Sandusky's methods of grooming and manipulating children were classic signs of a pedophile.

The interview aired 7/17/2014 at 9 p.m. EST, 8 p.m. CST.

I transcribed most of what Matt Sandusky said below the jump -

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Today, a child is being sexually abused.  

Today, a child needs your help.

Eight suspected paedophiles arrested in North Wales as part of massive police operation

Texas man gets 25 years in day care abuse case

Claremont woman gets 25 years for sexually abusing toddlers

Two North Devon arrests during internet child abuse operation

Underage girls traded for food on remote British islands, according to leaked report

British police arrest 660 suspected pedophiles

Alleged Pittsfield child rapist may get 50 years

Headlines - every day they are filled with stories of child sexual abuse and pedophilia.  These stories aren't from the last month or week, these stories are from the last 2 hours.  And they will soon be replaced by other stories of child sexual abuse and pedophilia.  


In the US, it is estimated that 1:4 girls and 1:6 boys are sexually abused by the age of 18.  

90% by someone they know

68% by a member of their own family

Statistics also show that most victims of childhood sexual abuse never tell...

So why do we struggle as a society to address this prolific issue?

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Daisy Coleman
I'm posting this in it's entirety.  To view the original article (with pictures) visit this link.  

There is nothing more powerful than hearing a survivor speak.  Thank you, Daisy Coleman, for having the courage to tell your truth.

Please note - *Triggering*

Winter: cold, bleak, bitter, ugly. Almost like summer has taken off its mask and shown its true colors. Everyone is forced to see how ugly life can truly be. Others get a season of beauty: summer.

My whole life since January 8, 2012, has been a long, reckless winter.

The night everything changed I was having an old friend over to catch up and have fun. Her name is Paige, and she is a year younger than I am. At the time, she was 13, and I was 14.

We had been best friends since we were both very young, and continued to be best friends, even though I had moved from Albany to Maryville. She was in the eighth grade, and I was in the midst of my freshman year.

Life, overall, was great.

I was on the varsity cheer squad, a competitive dance team and had a lot of friends.

Paige is my best friend. Watching scary movies was always our thing. So, that's how we kicked off our night, along with alcoholic beverages. My mom didn't know we were drinking, and I was not supposed to be.

That night I was texting with a boy that my older brother had warned me about, but I didn't listen. Looking back, I wish I did.

It wasn't until later that night that Matt, a popular senior boy, had asked to hang out. Of course, I knew my brothers wouldn't allow this so, we had to sneak out. It was about one in the morning when my friend and I climbed out of my bedroom window. I was not interested in Matt romantically. I considered him my older brother's friend. I trusted my older brother. I trusted Matt.

Matt picked us up in a black car and drove us to his house. He had to sneak us through a basement window.

There were bedrooms and a living room area in the basement. I sat on the couch and gathered familiar faces from the room. Four of Matt's friends were there. Matt emerged from one of the bedrooms with a bottle of clear alcohol he wanted me to drink. This is when one of Matt's friends suggested I drink from a tall shot glass, which they labeled the "bitch cup."

About five shots tall, I drank it. I guess I didn't know how badly it would mess me up. But the boys who gave it to me did.

Then it was like I fell into a dark abyss. No light anywhere. Just dark, dense silence -- and cold. That's all I could ever remember from that night. Apparently, I was there for not even an entire hour before they discarded me in the snow.

Waking up was a complete blur. I had to be carried into my mother's bedroom, in complete and total confusion. I was freezing and sick and bruised, my hair in icy chunks weighted against me. When my mom gave me a bath, she saw that I was hurt down in my privates.

We all knew something wasn't right. Something had gone wrong in the night.

My mother told me she found me outside, left for dead, and when she heard me trying to get to the door, she thought it was a dog scratching. I was weak and could have died in the below freezing temperatures.

Next thing I knew, I was in the ER getting blood drawn and having various tests done. We all knew what had happened, we just wanted someone else to say it for us. The doctors examined the rape kit and verified that our nightmares were real. This nightmare, though, didn't end. It continued on for many long months. It was only later I learned that my best friend, a year younger than me, had been raped, too.

Days seemed to drag on as I watched my brother get bullied and my mom lose her job. Ultimately our house burned to the ground.

I couldn't go out in public, let alone school.

I sat alone in my room, most days, pondering the worth of my life. I quit praying because if God were real, why would he do this?

I was suspended from the cheerleading squad and people told me that I was "asking for it" and would "get what was coming."

Why would I even want to believe in a God? Why would a God even allow this to happen? I lost all faith in religion and humanity. I saw myself as ugly, inside and out. If I was this ugly on the inside, then why shouldn't everyone see the ugly I saw?

I burned and carved the ugly I saw into my arms, wrists, legs and anywhere I could find room.

On Twitter and Facebook, I was called a skank and a liar and people encouraged me to kill myself. Twice, I did try to take my own life.

When I went to a dance competition I saw a girl there who was wearing a T-shirt she made. It read: "Matt 1, Daisy 0."

Matt's family was very powerful in the state of Missouri and he was also a very popular football player in my town, but I still couldn't believe it when I was told the charges were dropped. Everyone had told us how strong the case was -- including a cell phone video of the rape which showed me incoherent.

All records have been sealed in the case, and I was told the video wasn't found. My brother told me it was passed around school.

Read more here:

My scars only come to the surface when I'm tan or cold now. It's as if over time my body learned to heal some of the ugly, but it will always be a part of me.

Just like this case. It will live with me forever.

Since this happened, I've been in hospitals too many times to count. I've found it impossible to love at times. I've gained and lost friends. I no longer dance or compete in pageants. I'm different now, and I can't ever go back to the person I once was. That one night took it all away from me. I'm nothing more than just human, but I also refuse to be a victim of cruelty any longer.

This is why I am saying my name. This is why I am not shutting up. Matt put on Twitter something recently. It read: “If her name begins with A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z, she wants the D.”

Since Anonymous has gotten involved, everything has changed. #justice4Daisy has trended on the Internet, and pressure has come down hard on the authorities who thought they could hide what really happened.

I not only survived, I didn't give up. I've been told that a special prosecutor is going to reopen the case now. This is a victory, not just for me, but for every girl.

I just hope more men will take a lesson from my brothers.

They look out for women. They don't prey on them.


As many of you are aware,  began right here at Daily Kos.  It started with the guttural cry of two victims/survivors of childhood sexual abuse (Read Rebecca's story here and Roxine's story here) and has blossomed into a fully functioning 501(c)(3) organization whose sole mission is to help other victims/survivors in their recovery.

Rebecca and Roxine attended every day of the Jerry Sandusky Trial, from jury selection to verdict and sentencing, and delivered to the brave young men who testified the words of this community via a hard-copy book entitled Bearing Witness: Messages of Support from Across the World.

We are now working on finalizing Bearing Witness: The Jerry Sandusky Trial and you can help.  Please take a moment to review our Kickstarter campaign and consider making a pledge.

There are many ways you can help - some non-monetary

Please help us build momentum.  Share this on your Facebook page, Like us on Facebook, tweet it to your followers, Follow us on Twitter, help us get the word out.  And, if you're able, please consider making a pledge.  As little as $15 can help us achieve our goal.

You will not be charged anything unless the project is fully funded, that's the way Kickstarter works.  

We are going to self-publish this book, and every dime we raise off the sale of the books will go directly to the charity to fund future scholarships for survivors.  

Thank you for your consideration and thanks to this community for all of the support you have given us.

To learn more about our vision, mission and value statements, follow below the jump:


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You have an opportunity to help us make even more of a difference in our community.  is honoring highly-reviewed nonprofits with the 2013 Top-Rated List.

Won’t you help us raise visibility for our work by posting a review of your experience with us? You could be the first one to review us! All reviews will be visible to potential donors and volunteers.

It’s easy, only takes a minute and your review could help us win a spot on the 2013 Top-Rated List.

Just click on this link and type in "Tree Climbers" into the search box.  

Thank you for your time -



Trial Court

"No one who has had the slightest experience with child sexual abuse or given a whit of thought to the dynamics could conclude that failure to make a prompt complaint, standing alone, is an accurate indicia of fabrication."

Superior Court

We agree, completely, with the trial court’s reasoning. The trial court properly instructed the jury. Accordingly, Sandusky’s argument fails. Judgment of sentence affirmed.

Justice Re-affirmed

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania today ruled against Jerry Sandusky's request for a new trial.  May we all now take a collective sigh of relief, as it appears that justice continues to prevail for these brave young men.

Regarding delayed reporting, the three judges went on to say:

The practical reality is that the standard prompt complaint charge does not take into account the complex and myriad factors that might cause a child victim to delay in reporting an assault, or in comprehending the long-term significance of the assault, or even a child’s motivation to protect the person who assaulted them.
It appears that the true effects of child sexual abuse on victims is beginning to be understood.   Today is a good day.

The new law  will go into effect January 1, 2014.

Language that is music to my ears

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an action for damages based on childhood sexual abuse may be commenced at any time

Senator Collins Lauds Law To Aid Sex Crimes’ Victims

State Sen. Jacqueline Collins (D-16th) applauded the signing last Friday of a law that removes the statute of limitations on filing charges of sexual assault or abuse when the victim was younger than 18 and when there is either corroborating physical evidence or evidence that a mandated reporter knew about the crime but failed to notify authorities.

“This law gives the gift of time to victims of horrific crimes,” Collins said. “Letting them take all the time they need to come forward may offer these victims peace and closure, could prevent a child molester from victimizing others and — most importantly — gives justice a chance.”

“With 33 states already having abolished the statute of limitations for at least some sex crimes against minors, there is a growing movement toward allowing these prosecutions to be initiated at any time,” Collins said. “We are realizing there is no reason not to give a solid case its day in court.”


Day by day, step by step, we are providing victims with hope.  We are saying, as a society, we see you, we hear you, WE BELIEVE YOU.  We are slowly peeling back the shroud of secrecy and shining the brightest light on childhood sexual abuse.  Soon, pedophiles will have nowhere to hide and we can perhaps strive to be a world that relieves victims of the stigma of child sexual abuse, and equips adults with the courage, knowledge and tools necessary to identify and report suspected child sexual abuse without fear of repercussion.

SB 131 "would lift the statute of limitations for one year for a group of alleged victims who were 26 and older and missed the previous window to file lawsuits."

As I wrote previously, The Catholic Church  has vigorously lobbied against the measure, and Archbishop Jose Gomez used the church newsletter to urge local Catholics to contact their legislators.

Statute of Limitations

Some victims of childhood sexual abuse would have one more year to file civil lawsuits against private or nonprofit organizations that employed their alleged abusers under a bill that passed a key legislative committee Wednesday.

The bill already passed the Senate and is similar to a 2002 bill that passed during the height of the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal.

That bill briefly allowed sex abuse victims to file lawsuits after the statute of limitations had expired and led to $1.2 billion in settlements from Catholic dioceses statewide.
SB131 by Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, heads to the full Assembly after passing the Assembly Appropriations Committee on a 12-4 vote.


of the community especially when you are a child?"  ~Victim 10

Why he came forward

"He wanted to tell other people that it's okay, it's okay to come forward and to help other kids know that they could step up and speak out."

Link in case the embed isn't working:

Again.  A hero.


"They know they don't have to keep their victims quiet forever, just long enough to run out the clock"

As has been previously discussed, one of the major issues regarding childhood sexual abuse and justice is that the statute of limitations vary state to state.  Often times, the statute has run out by the time a victim/survivor is ready to talk about what happened to them.  However, many states are re-visiting this issue and some are making changes:

Lawmakers in New Jersey are considering a bill that would completely eliminate the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases, but that bill has some powerful opponents.

Pennsylvania state Rep. Michael McGeehan is sponsoring a bill that would temporarily waive the statute of limitations for sex abuse charges.

Tree Climbers: Arkansas Lifts Statute of Limitations on Sex Crimes Involving Minors
Tree Climbers: A WATERSHED Moment for Child Sexual Abuse Survivors (New York Ruling Statute of Limitations)

...federal judge Frederic Block, in what may be a watershed moment for sexual abuse survivors, ruled in August that portions of the suit could proceed because administrators may have lied when they said they did not become aware of the abuse allegations until 1991.

New York state law requires survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file a case by the time they are 23 years old. But Block agreed with Mulhearn when he allowed portions of the suit to proceed in August, ruling that Poly Prep could not use the statute of limitations to block the suit if administrators had consistently lied about when they first learned about the allegations.

The Catholic Church, California & The Statute of Limitations (SB131)

The following email came to Bob McPhail, Cal Catholic editor, on July 31.

Archdiocese of Los Angeles
Moderator of the Curia/Vicar General

TO:                   Bob
FROM:            Rev. Msgr. Joseph V. Brennan, Moderator of the Curia / Vicar General
DATE:             July 31, 2013

Archbishop Gomez has asked me to send the following important message to you:

Friends, my brother bishops and I in the California Catholic Conference are asking all Catholics to contact their Assembly members and Senators and urge them to vote “No” on Senate Bill 131.

SB-131 fails to protect all victims of childhood sexual abuse, discriminates against Catholic schools and other private employers, and puts the Church’s social services and educational mission at risk. We have set up a website that will enable you to easily email your elected officials directly:

It is urgent that we all act now. The State Legislature will take up SB-131 in the week of August 10th. Thank you for taking the time to communicate with your elected officials about this.

Please be assured of my prayers for you and your families.

In Christ,
Most Reverend José H. Gomez
Archbishop of Los Angeles

And, if you click on the link embeded above, it takes you to a "Vote No on SB131 "helpful" website.  Some of the reasons why the Catholic Church of California wants you to vote no?

(emphasis mine)

1.Senate Bill 131, now before the California Legislature, would suspend for one year a deadline (called a “statute of limitations”) to give childhood sexual abuse victims the chance to sue their abusers’ employers for damages resulting from their abuse.
and this is bad...why?
2.SB-131 is not good legislation because it does not protect all children. In fact, the bill only allows lawsuits to be filed by children who were abused in religious and other private schools and organizations such as the YMCA or Little League. Children who were abused by public school teachers or other public employees are specifically not protected by SB 131. That means this legislation offers no protection for the 92 percent of California’s children who attend public schools or for children in foster care or in other public settings.
nothing protects all children - least of which, history has shown us, is the Catholic Church.  


3.SB-131 unfairly targets only Catholic-run and other private institutions because it only allows lawsuits against private schools and organizations and specifically exempts public schools and other public institutions. The sexual abuse of children is a social reality. It is not limited to private institutions. Any legislation that seeks to deal with this grave problem should be applied to protect victims in all institutions in society — public and private— equally.
Perhaps Marci Hamilton can say it better than I:
True, SB131 does not cover public institutions.  As I argue in Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children, public institutions need justice for sex abuse.

I wholeheartedly urge the California legislature to take up that issue as well, and to consider a separate bill involving state and local institutions.  These institutions are always treated differently than private institutions, and issues like sovereign immunity, which are irrelevant to the private sphere, need to be considered when such institutions are at issue.  Let’s create justice for all victims of child sex abuse.  But there is no necessity that all entities are included in any one bill.  SB131 includes some of those that absolutely need to be addressed: families especially.

4.SB-131 does nothing to increase penalties against the actual abusers of children. The bill allows for monetary damages to be imposed on private employers. But it does not impose any civil or criminal penalties on the perpetrator.
I have said from the beginning that those who would abuse children are sick, but those who KNOW children are being abused - and do nothing?  They are just as guilty as the perpetrator themselves.

When it comes to institutional cover-up I believe there should be no statute of limitations in prosecuting both the offenders and those who conspired to cover for them.  That's just my personal belief and something I would like to see further addressed.  The reason being is that no longer is it the word of one child/now adult versus one perpetrator, but others knew or had a duty to know (see willful blindness: “If there is knowledge that you could have had, should have had but chose not to have, you are still responsible.”) and made the choice to let the abuse continue.  

Willful Blindness:  These narratives always follow the same trajectory: years of abuse involving a large number of participants, plenty of warning signs and, when the problem finally explodes, howls of pain: How could we have been so blind?

Cases of willful blindness aren’t about hindsight. They feature contemporaneous information that was available but ignored. While it’s tempting to pillory individual villains, the causes are more often systemic and cultural. There are many reasons –psychological, social and structural — why we don’t see what we most need to notice. None of them provides an alibi or an excuse. What each does is shed light on how these organizational car crashes happen – and how they might be prevented.

A plea from a mother

(emphasis mine)
[The Catholic Church has] spent $$180,000 to lobby and undermine the bill to protect the rights of victims of Child Sexual Abuse, with their pressure they have moved SB131 into appropriations committee, a clandestine process: the least transparent committee. The Unofficial vote is next Wed Aug 14th, We urge all Californian's to contact members of the appropriation committee and urge a yes vote on Victims Rights, and contact your Assembly member and get their support!!!

The Catholic church is concerned about liability and truth is they should be. They covered up a crime! Child Rape should be considered a crime and treated as such. Once the LA Diocese was ordered to turn over records we discovered how many pedophile priests where moved around after the abuse was discovered. This discovery
implicated the church it also identifies a molester who should be prosecuted and taken out of the lives of children. This Victim Rights bill is a protection of innocence and not just a monetary issue. There would be no need for such a bill if we treated Child Sexual Abuse as a crime in the first place and protected our children instead of perpetrators.

I believe SB 131 comes up for a vote next week - August 14, 2013.  If you live in California and are so inclined, please contact your appropriate representative and let them know this is at least a step in the right direction.  Will it give all victims justice?  No, but it will hold accountable those organizations that we already know hid this heinous abuse, and perhaps stop future organizations from covering it up.

The preface to the amended SB 131 follows after the jump - as well as a video of the senate committee hearing with powerful victim/survivor testimony

Professor Marci Hamilton has written about this as well:
"The choice is plain: protect children, or protect predators and the institutions that gave them access to children.  The victims of child sex abuse who are suffering right now need state legislators to do the right thing, for the right reasons, and to send packing the bishops who have lost their way on the issue of justice." ~Marci Hamilton

Marci A. Hamilton is a professor of law at Cardozo School of Law, and the author of Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children, which was just published in paperback with a new Preface. Her email address is

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Reposted from Roxine by Roxine

(I posted a link as the embed doesn't appear to be working for this one)

I have not seen this show before, but as is typical, the BBC is far ahead of US Television in tackling difficult issues.

I believe the story line began in 2008.  That December the program description was:

Despite EastEnders having a tradition of tackling difficult social issues, from domestic violence to HIV, and Brookside having addressed child sex abuse 15 years ago with the Jordaches, the BBC soap came under fire from those who felt it inappropriate for EastEnders to focus on the subject - or perhaps they didn't want reminding that most abuse happens in the home. Thankfully EastEnders persevered, and last night Whitney dropped her bombshell. Tonight, then, comes the detonation, and cracking performances from Shona McGarty as Whitney and Patsy Palmer as Bianca, who hurtles from obliviousness to belligerent disbelief to a devastated, cold comprehension
Thanks to the BBC and East Enders for pressing forward with this issue.  We must talk about it.

While difficult to watch (I'm now going back to 2008 when the abuse started for Whitney at the hands of her mother, Bianca's fiance) I think a similar show in the US would be helpful to children who may be experiencing similar situations at home.

90% of sexual assaults are by someone they know
68% by a family member
Access is most easily gained within the four walls of our home.  

I remember as a kid - hell, as an adult really, thinking I was the only one - that something must be wrong with me - that I deserved this - that I was bad, dirty, disgusting - I asked for it - it was my punishment for something I had done.  Imagine, for a moment, if I happened across a show like this - where all of a sudden the veil was lifted.  And not only did I realize at 9, 10, 11, 12 years old that I wasn't the only one, but that it was WRONG - it wasn't my fault - and that there was something I could do about it!

I remember as a kid seeing those after school specials - sort of PSA's for kids.  We need THIS sort of PSA for them and for parents.  

Anyway, I just stumbled across the series this morning and wanted to share with you guys.  Additional episodes (earlier episodes) appear below the jump.

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