Tonight's special guest is Marilyn Van Derbur from Colorado, the former Miss America, an incest survivor, activist and author who won first place in the prestigious Writer's Digest award for her "Miss America by Day" in the 'Most Inspirational Book' category. In her autobiography, Marilyn, a returning NAASCA family member, describes, in detail, her healing process after 13 years of incest. “I wrote the book," she says, "not because I want someone to learn more about me but so readers can learn more about themselves. And so that loved ones can better understand the brutal recovery process and never again say, 'just get over it'.” She continues, "The pain ends, I promise .. IF you do the ‘work' of healing. A loving, long-term relationship and grounded well, adjusted children await you." Marilyn is an outstanding speaker and motivator. As a childhood incest survivor, she has devoted much of her adult life to raising national awareness and understanding of sexual abuse and its long-term effects. In 1989 her family funded an adult incest survivor program in Denver, and in 1993 she co-founded two national not-for-profit organizations dedicated to public education and strengthening laws protecting victims of sexual abuse. For her tireless work in the area of childhood sexual trauma awareness Marilyn has received many awards and much recognition including, the “Exceptional Achievement in Public Service from the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Washington D.C.”. Since her story of incest became public, Marilyn has spoken in over 500 cities and answered tens of thousands of letters and emails from survivors looking to her for support.
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