Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Break the Silence on TLC
The documentary "Breaking the Silence" airs on the TLC network Sunday, August 30, at 10/9pm central. This one-hour special features interviews with people impacted by sexual abuse, including two members of RAINN’s Speakers Bureau, survivors Ter-rae Lee and David Moody, as well as survivor-advocate Erin Merryn, the force behind Erin's Law.
“I am a survivor, and not afraid to tell my story if I can help save someone,” says Ter-rae Lee, who was sexually abused by her father from ages 11 to 13. After reading an article in Seventeen magazine, Ter-rae called the National Sexual Assault Hotline and was able to tell her mother about what was happening. With support from RAINN, Ter-rae began her recovery and was able to extract a telephone confession from her father as the district attorney’s office silently listened in. This call ultimately led to her father’s conviction, and allowed her to feel safe for the first time in years. Ter-rae, who now has a daughter of her own and a foundation that supports young survivors, wants others to know that, “When you tell your story, you will feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. There’s always light after the dark, and one day you might be able to help someone by talking about what happened.”
David Moody, a successful businessman from Atlanta, struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety after he finally disclosed to his wife that he had been sexually abused by a male babysitter from ages 9 to 10. “I was like a pressure cooker that had a valve released. I didn’t know how tight I had been wound up until I said the words out loud,” he says. After working through his memories and receiving counseling, he began speaking out about his experience and helping others learn about childhood sexual abuse. David says, “The journey of healing gets bumpy at times, but getting through the fear is an awesome feeling. It is a freedom, emotionally, to finally know it was not my fault, that I am strong, and that everyone deserves to be happy. It is a clearness like nothing I have ever experienced until now.”
Be part of the solution: Visit RAINN's Action Center and sign up for updates to stay informed about RAINN’s work to address key policy issues. Learn more about efforts to pass Erin's Law on the state level.
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, it’s not your fault. You are not alone. Help is available 24/7 through the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE and online.rainn.org, y en español: rainn.org/es.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization and was named one of "America's 100 Best Charities" by Worth magazine. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. In 2015, the Online Hotline expanded to offer services in Spanish at rainn.org/es. The hotlines have helped more than two million people since 1994. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice. For more information about RAINN, please visit rainn.org.