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"Good" and "evil" always seem like handy labels, especially when describing those involved in incidents of child sexual abuse.
So depending on your point of view, I was either blessed or cursed by lessons I learned 25 years ago from Roger, a complicated man who upended any certainty I had that the distinctions between "good" and "evil" are actually so sharply defined.
Why haven't I worked through all these issues? Why am I still not healed?
Most of us who are survivors ask ourselves these questions many times. "I've been on this journey for five years. When does it end?"
They are the questions we ask on our worst days.
If you're like me, you watched in disbelief as the news media uncovered recent childhood sexual abuse allegations at Penn State University, Syracuse and numerous other institutions. I couldn't help but wonder how these allegations were kept from authorities for so long. As someone who endured seven years of sexual abuse as a child, I understood why the alleged victims didn't feel safe to talk, but I couldn't get my head around how or why the adults who were made aware of the alleged abuse were so reluctant to demand justice.
Yesterday, representatives from Joyful Heart, including myself, went to Albany to advocate for the expansion of New York State’s DNA Databank to include samples from all convicted offenders. Right now in New York, state law only allows for collection of DNA from offenders convicted in just 48% of all crimes. We went up with a statewide coalition of advocates, law enforcement, survivors and policymakers. We met with representatives in both political parties in the Senate and Assembly, as well as members of the press. We went with a simple message: pass all crimes DNA legislation.