Tonight's special guest is Penny Miles from Cape Coral, Florida, who tells me mother threw her father and his clothes into the street when she was around 5. Her sexual abuse began not long after with strange men in her home, touching her. Eventually the abuse escalated to attempted intercourse. Then family members did the same. "I remember it like it was yesterday," she says. "I became very ill," she recalls. The doctor had Penny released to her father, who had remarried. "In hindsight, it seems THAT jump was straight into the fire." Penny ran away from home at 17, and never lived there again. "The abuse made me feel like I was a 'bad girl.' One of the first people I told, unfortunately for me, was the abusive step parent, who basically said I was 'a slut.' She told my father that I was having sex with my brothers!!" She goes on, "I thought 'slut' was a disease, and I would die." A few years ago things began to change .. slowly .. in 2004. "My father brought up the fact that we were bad children." He could not be convinced there had been reasons. She continues, "My father's family were so up in arms trying to get Dad to see what his wife was doing, but abusers are very good at what they do. She covered her tracks by saying we were liars, and bad. She was only trying to 'help' us." Penny says, "Most of my life I've been alone. My choice as it was easier that way. I could get hurt less. I had two domestic violence [relationships] .. really, really horrible that tried to kill me, or have me put in prison." In spite of the ongoing trauma, Penny is grateful she's been able to spend years as an animal rights activists and as an advocate against domestic violence. "I have been able to help so many others in this walk of life."
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