Tonight's special guest is Sherrie Allsup from Corpus Christi, Texas. She is a survivor of incest, mental, physical, verbal, and emotional abuse who is now an educator on sexual assault, a public speaker, and founder of the non-profit 'Courage Starts With You.' Sherrie explains, "I am a long-term survivor of sexual abuse. I am now traveling to college campuses working with and educating campus police, faculty, staff, students, and RA's on the epidemic of sexual assault." She continues, "I also speak at conferences, women's groups, retreats, high schools and other areas as needed." Sherrie suffered abuse by her father for over a decade from the age of 6 to 17. She frequently ran away from home only to be brought back to her abusive household and finally married in an effort to leave her situation. She lived with the secret of her abuse until disclosing at age 32 after which her father admitted to abusing her. Inexplicably, Sherrie's mother chose to stay in a relationship with him. Sherrie's husband and the father of her three children was not supportive during her recovery and chose to divorce her. Despite these difficulties, Sherrie is continuing in therapy for C-PTSD, depression, and past suicide attempts, and has become a community leader with a hopeful message for survivors of child abuse. "For the first time in my life, I like the person I see when I look in the mirror!" she says. "The only way sexual abuse can survive is in darkness. We must shine a light on this dark epidemic."
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