A victim's voice: Speaking out about sexual abuse
By: CJ Cassidy
By: CJ Cassidy
William Huck of Ste. Genevieve now faces more sex charges for allegedly molesting children at his wife's daycare. Seventeen new counts have been filed against Huck and his bond has been raised to one point five million dollars.
Investigator's say Huck seized on moments of opportunity over the past 30 years - when his wife wasn't around to abuse at least 40 children at the daycare.
Hundreds of children have gone to the Huck's daycare over the years, and investigators say it could be months maybe longer - before their work wraps up.
Investigators say most victims who were probably abused years ago may not want to remember what happened - if they remember at all.
So what can you do if you are a victim? Experts say talk to a counselor at a place like the SEMO Network Against Sexual Violence, where counselors reach out to even very young children - sometimes with the help of toys and puppets.
One sexual abuse victim says coming forward was the best move she ever made. "When I was eight years old I was sexually abused by my baby sitter," Eighteen-year-old Tiffani can now speak frankly about the man who stole her innocence, but says she couldn't have fought the demons in her head, alone.
At eight - a terrified Tiffani turned to her grandmother for help. "It was a very big relief, if she would have told me she didn't believe me, I don't know what I would have done," Tiffani says.
The new victims who have come forward in the case against William Huck range in age from one to 27. Investigators say Huck's admitted to molesting at least forty children, but there's no telling how many others there might be.
Tiffani says she knows exactly how hard it can be to fess up - to being a victim. "It's embarrassing. After I got sexually abused I felt nasty - I don't know I can understand completely why they don't want to speak up."
Tiffani points out she still maintained her anonymity after speaking out, and only revealed her secret to people she chose to confide in.
Seeking help from police, or counselors - even sharing her story with us - didn't take away from her privacy. "It's happening to so many kids out there. I want them to hear my story. One of these days I want them to talk about what happened say they're a survivor of sexual abuse like I get to," she says.
These days, Tiffani has a boyfriend she trusts and is ready to start college. But her biggest accomplishment, rebuilding faith in herself, and realizing becoming a victim, wasn't her fault at all.
Counselors agree with Tiffani, saying an abuser isn't usually interested in the sex, rather it's all about power and control. That often leaves victims blaming themselves, especially if the abuse took place years ago.