Tonight's special guest is Robert Nelson, a survivor of child sexual abuse who, in spite of being sexually abused by a teacher when in school and dealing with the associated trauma, became an internationally recognized speaker and consultant. When in his late 40s, Nelson began to actively confront his childhood abuse. In addition to seeking therapy, Robert became active on the government affairs front, and he's currently a Member of the Board of Directors at Justice4PAKids. The athletic trainer at Nelson’s high school, a marathon runner, befrended him. Robert was 15 and naturally he felt special. After their run one day, the teacher began the pattern of sexual abuse that would last until Robert's senior year. The man made Robert feel as if he were his friend, that he could trust him. He gave Robert access to his mobile home and let him sleep there in the middle of the day where he had an array of gay magazines. He also gave Robert his sports car to drive, and money. When Robert was 17 the trainer took him to an over night professional conference at a hotel and made him sleep in his room. To this day, the trainer continues to work with children at a Pennsylvania high school. In fact, after retiring at the collegiate level as a head athletic trainer the abuser went back to the high school level as a part-time trainer where he could again be amongst children. Robert has become a passionate anti-abuse advocate, lobbying for statute of limitations reform and for child sexual abuse to be added as an exception to the sovereign immunity defense that shields public officials from being sued. Nelson is a graduate of the Ohio State University with a degree in Criminology and Sociology.
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