Sanctuary for the Abused

Tuesday, September 27, 2005



Sexual Abuse Survivor, Incest Survivor - Marilyn Van Derbur

A sexual abuse survivor, Marilyn Van Derbur's incredible story of being a sexual abuse victim and overcoming her childhood trauma is now available in this extraordinary book. Unfolding her story some 35 years after the sexual abuse stopped, Van Derbur's book, "Miss America by Day," has profound impact on everyone who reads it. Men and women who are survivors of sexual trauma, incest survivors, and those with sexual abuse repressed memories continue to be ever-changed by reading the pages as Van Derbur describes the sexual abuse, the long-term trauma, the disbelief she endured and the healing process for all sexual abuse victims.

In this long-awaited book, Van Derbur, a former Miss America, tells the story of how she was sexually violated by her father from age 5 to age 18. She was 53 years old before she was able to speak the words in public, “I am an incest survivor.” She opened the door for tens of thousands of sexual abuse survivors to also speak the words, many for the first time, within their own families and communities.

excerpts from her book:

Chapter 2: "The Night Child"

Click. She was on the first step. Then, slowly, very slowly, click, down to the second step. Then even more slowly we heard the third click as she stepped down the third step. My door was less than six feet away. Finally! My mother was coming. Finally it would be over. At the sound of the first click, my father had frozen. I had frozen. We remained motionless at the second click and the third. It was a dramatic moment in time when each of us knew what the other was thinking. It seemed like minutes, but I'm sure it was only seconds. Then we heard another click, but she wasn't coming to save me, she was going back up the steps. She knew.

Chapter 32: It's Never Too Late

A third reason why a mother will not believe her child, is the reason why I feel my mother chose to deny me by saying, "I don't believe you." If my mother were to acknowledge what I told her, it would have shattered her image of the perfect wife, the perfect mother. Her unwillingness to acknowledge the reality of my life, and hers, kept her from ever being my mother, and caused me unbearable pain.
shared by Barbara at 8:44 AM


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