Child abuse survivor shares story for child abuse awareness month

Prevention advocates in Illinois met this morning to kick off Child Abuse Awareness Month at the Union County Courthouse.
Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 5:38 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ill. (KFVS) - April is Child Abuse Awareness month.

Prevention advocates in Illinois met Thursday morning to kick it off at the Union County Courthouse.

We caught up with a child abuse survivor sharing her story publicly for the first time.

”I feel that I’m able to use my experiences to help others,” Crystal Crim said.

Crystal Crim says her abuse started at five years old. She shared her story with about 40 people Thursday morning.

“Although what I went through was very difficult for me, I’m able to connect with other children on a different level. I love being able to help other children and stop their abuse from going on,” Crim said.

Crim said before she felt comfortable enough to talk about her experiences, she put pen to paper and wrote poems.

“That was my way of dealing with the situation,” she said.

“I didn’t have anybody there for me, I didn’t have anyone I could go to, I was told that I couldn’t talk about it and if I did that something bad would happen.”

She wants people to know it’s hard getting out of an abusive situation.

“People say well why didn’t you just say something? And that’s because it’s engrained from you. the abuse doesn’t just all of a sudden start out ad its little things that start and you come to feel that you’re the one that’s doing something wrong, it’s your dirty little secret,” she said.

Brittney Hale is the program assistant at prevent child abuse Illinois. She said Thursday’s event was a call to action.

“It is your duty, it is our duty, to report any abuse and neglect. You don’t have to have proof that abuse and neglect is occurring. If you have some sort of gut feeling or if you’ve seen something, say something,” Hale said.

All who came to the event tied a blue ribbon onto trees to show their support for child abuse prevention. There’s a similar event Friday at John A. Logan College.

Friday, April 1 is wear blue day for child abuse prevention in Illinois.

If you see signs of child abuse, you’re asked to call the national child abuse hotline at 1-800-422-4453.

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