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Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) - 1031

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Bill Murray

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Tonight's special guest is Mike Pistorino from Cleveland, OH, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse who's now using his voice as a motivational speaker and advocate against child abuse and trauma. As a young child growing up in the Bronx, neglected by his parents, Mike was easy prey for a local predator, their neighbor. He was sexually abused for years, and for years he believed that the rapes he suffered were proof that he was "bad" - that there was nothing good or redeemable in him. Mike grew up an angry man, addicted to cocaine, sleeping in the streets and doing stints in jails and prisons. But he found within himself a spark, a long buried but still living source of hope and will. At age 28, with the help of the Daytop Village therapeutic community, and after several false starts, Mike broke the grip of his addiction. Freed from its clutches, he built a life. He met his wife, Cynthia, on a New York City subway and a year later they were married. As his oldest daughter reached the age at which he was abused, Mike found himself wrestling with his memories. He sought help from the Cleveland rape crisis center, overcame his fears, and began the real work of confronting the abuse he had suffered, and its legacies .. the self blame, the anger, the bone-deep belief that he did not deserve to be happy. Mike was finally able to tell someone about the abuse he had suffered. By facing his painful past, Mike was able to discover authentic joy and a purpose. Today, he is a successful businessman, devoted family man, fitness enthusiast, marathoner, and public speaker. He is passionate about sharing his story in order to empower survivors and stop the epidemic of child sexual abuse. Learn more about Mike: www.mikepistorino.com

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