PW Announces Deadline for Upcoming Sexual-Abuse Awareness Project

By Nina Hoffmann
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Aug. 29, 2012

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In late June, I published an editor's note announcing a Philadelphia Weekly project on sexual-abuse awareness.

Sexual abuse comes in many forms, and can happen in the situations you'd least expect. Which is why we need to write and talk about it. In the note, I called for first-person essays from abuse survivors, their loved ones and counselors in order to show that healing from sexual abuse does not occur in a vacuum. It requires the support of spouses, family members, friends and counselors.

We've received dozens of essays so far. In some cases, entire families have submitted essays, all writing from their perspective about how the abuse of one person in their family affected everyone. Contributors are all ages, genders, sexual orientations, races and economic backgrounds. Some are even writing from outside Pennsylvania.

But we want to hear from more of you. There's still plenty of time to submit a first-person account of the challenges associated with healing. The deadline is Friday, Sept. 28. Selected essays will be published in the Nov. 14 issue of Philadelphia Weekly and in a subsequent book.

If you are interested in submitting an essay, please email me at

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1. Sandy said... on Sep 17, 2012 at 04:47PM

“I will be 60 years old Monday. My abuse started when I was seven. I was abused by my stepfather who adopted me and fathered two bothers with my mother. My mother remarried and when I was around 12 years old I was sexually abused again. Both times my mother and everyone in my life turned a blind eye to me. I was unable to speak of my abuse until I was over fifty years old. I tried for years to heal my broken heart and sprite in the silent empty vacuum all those years. I thought I could tune out my experience and act normal, act like everyone else. I went to school with much difficulty, but I graduated from high school and went to college some.

I am a mother of two girls, and I have three granddaughters. I have lived with a few failed relationships, because I did not know due to my childhood abuses,that perhaps I was not capable of being a mother or having family relationship.

I did manage to teach myself that what happen to me is not who I am.”


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PW Seeks First-Person Essays From Sexual-Abuse Survivors and Their Loved Ones
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