March 10, 2006
Celeb Speaks Out As CSA Survivor
What prompted Hatcher to come out of her hiding is learning that another of her uncle's victims--a 14-year-old--had committed suicide. With the TV star's testimony, Richard Hayes Stone pleaded guilty to four counts of child molestation and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Without Hatcher, the case against Stone would probably have been dismissed.
Hatcher told her Vanity Fair interviewer that the conviction made her feel validated. She blames the "victim thing" for making her ask herself if she was just crazy and making things up.
When Hatcher was eight or nine years old--after her uncle had already been abusing her for three or four years--she went "ballistic" at the mention of him coming over to the family house for dinner. Though the topic was never discussed, Hatcher's parents "removed" her from the situation. The girl never saw her uncle after that. Though she was protected from the pedophile from then on, Hatcher blamed herself for the abuse. Probably at least in part because, as she says, "Nobody wanted to talk about it."
It's precisely because nobody wants to talk about it that I applaud survivors like Teri Hatcher. What I truly want to see now are more celebs coming forward and admitting that they, too, were sexually assaulted or abused as children. We know that there are many, many survivors out there. There must be, with a statistic like one in three girls and one in six boys sexually abused by the age of 18 in the US. Some celebrities have come forward, but not many.
Let's blow this thing wide open, once and for all. Let's lose the stigma and the shame that's being attached to the survivors, and place it firmly where it belongs--on the perpetrators.
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