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Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) - 1863

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Bill Murray

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Tonight's special guest is Joy T.J. Riley from Baltimore, Maryland, a returning NAASCA family member and child abuse survivor whose abuse began nearly from birth by a relative. Joy was also molested by a baby sister and two other relatives and has lived through domestic abuse and adult rape. Now her focus is on healing through writing, speaking, community work, and her faith. 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. It took many years before I understood there were long term effects. I was angry because in nearly all the cases, authority figures abused their authority over me. It was the last occurrence that pushed me into writing as a way to cope with all the emotions." Joy began writing at age eleven to channel feelings she could not express in spoken word due to child abuse. Now she writes about what it's like for survivors not just as children but about the journey of healing. Joy says, “I had to go back and remember everything I felt. It was painful but I'm in a better place." Currently, she is an activist and radio show host of "Get Your JOY In The Morning" and a contributing writer for Divine Voice Magazine. She is also involved with "Safe Shores – The D.C. Children's Advocacy Center," a direct service nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and working with child victims of sexual and physical abuse. In addition, Joy is the author of two books and a playwrite.

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