Tonight's special guest is Deb Falenschek from Northfield, Minnesota, a child abuse survivor and activist. Deb says she's definitely ready to join the bandwagon to stop child sexual abuse and bring it to the forefront. "As a survivor I too want to help others," she says. Deb grew up in an upper middle class family. "It wasn't until I got married to my husband and told him what my Dad did to me did I even realize what he did to me was WRONG," Deb reports. "When you're part of a family you think that their behavior is NORMAL!" But it was far from normal. "My Dad said he was trying to teach me about sex and my Mom (who she told) thought that was acceptable." She explains, "I went through some promiscuous years before I met my husband because in my family where women were just sex objects." Years later Deb found out her father had also abused a couple of younger realatives. "I tried to encourage them to get counseling for the sake of the family only to have my Mom 6 months later write me a letter saying that I ruined her families reputation for speaking of this and she wanted me out of her life forever!" The hardest part for Deb is not the acts that happened to her but how society and family does or doesn't respond to the issue of sexual abuse. "I have finally moved on from my family and want nothing to do with them after last year," she reports. "For years I have felt that God has gifted me with great strength and that I wanted to use my story to help empower other victims / survivors," Deb says, concluding, "My prayers and dreams have been to start a local advocate group to empower survivors, educate the public on sexual abuse of children and most importantly to STOP THE SILENCE!"
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