I hear a lot of heartbreaking stories about child abuse. You might think this would make my job difficult, and sometimes it does. But people often share their stories because they’re proud of the lives they lead now and who they’ve become. They believe strongly in the important work Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin does through child abuse prevention and intervention programs.

One such couple, Marge and Chip, wanted me to share their stories with you.

Marge’s story:

“I was sexually abused as a child. It was very crippling to me. I isolated myself. Without any confidence, I felt ugly, unwanted, unloved and freakish. I could not trust anyone, not even in my own home. Thoughts of being a loser consumed me, so I turned to drugs and alcohol for comfort.

Now I’ve straightened out my life. We need to do everything we can to help children who can’t help themselves.”

Chip’s story:

“I was raised in a dysfunctional environment. My siblings and I were so abused that my younger brother killed himself when he was only 18. My father sexually abused at least one of my younger sisters. My mother knew about the abuse and chose to ignore it. We grew up on handouts and never realized most people didn’t live like we did.

My whole family became addicted to drugs and alcohol, but I have been given a second chance. I’ve been clean more than 25 years. I am proud to be in a position today where I can contribute and help make a difference. Kids are innocent. They need help, and it’s up to us.”

You can help make a difference. I hope you’ll go to stopchildabusetoday.org and make a donation. A gift of any amount helps fund programs that focus on:

  • Preventing abuse by educating and supporting at-risk families.
  • Identifying and stopping sexual and physical abuse.
  • Healing children and families after abuse has happened.

Jennifer Hammel~ Jennifer Hammel, director, Child Abuse Prevention Fund

The Child Abuse Prevention Fund is a fundraising initiative of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Since 1988, the organization has distributed more than $10 million to support community-based child abuse prevention initiatives throughout Wisconsin.

Read more blog posts by Jennifer Hammel.

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