Tonight's special guest is Joy T.J. Riley from Baltimore, Maryland, a child abuse survivor nearly from birth who's now an activist and radio show host of "Get Your JOY In The Morning". Joy says, "My trauma of sexual abuse began not long out of my mother's womb by a relative. I didn't remember much at first. It took years before understanding I suffered from PTSD." Joy was also molested by a baby sister and two relatives. "It was the last occurrence that pushed me into writing as a way to cope with all the emotions," Joy says. "I was angry because in nearly all the cases, authority figures abused their authority over me." Joy's also gone through domestic abuse and adult rape .. and it's been a long haul. But things are different now. As she explains, "It took many years before I understood there were long term effects." Eventually Joy began writing about what it's like for survivors not just as children but about the journey of healing. "I interviewed other survivors like myself. In order for me to interview others, I had to go back and remember everything I felt. It was painful but I'm in a better place." Now her focus is on healing through writing, speaking, community work and her faith. The motto of "Get Your JOY In The Morning" is that it's through faith that one finds purpose and healing. Joy's also involved with the "Safe Shores - Washington D.C. Children's Advocacy Center," a child-friendly direct service nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and working directly with child victims of sexual and physical abuse in the District of Columbia.
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