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I am a white woman, whose father prostituted her from infancy through my 20s. One thing that occurs to me is that no believable statistics, or accurate stats, can be gathered when the major defense against the shock of abuse/betrayal is amnesia. I believe that all women, and men, prostitutes are set on that path by sexual abuse of some form. I was able to prove my repressed memories and wrote my story with author, Michael Newton, a writer who is passionate about injustice. It was released by Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books Div., in paperback, in 1995 and further proofs have been obtained since them. It describes a child sex ring run by my mother and a woman he murdered, Elizabeth Short, aka "The Black Dahlia."

- Janice Knowlton

I plan to revisit your site. Health issues and the continuing flashbacks which fill in my first 25 years (I am now 63), as well as economic limitations, prevent me from being more activist at this time. However, I am writing, speaking out, and just plain alive and conscious. Not bad for a woman born 63 years ago into slavery.

Thanks for your note to FEMINIST.COM--and for reaching out, both to us and to millions of people who have been abused and now have access to your book. As you may know, FEMINIST.COM--and specifically Ask Amy, receives many letters related to sexual abuse. Some are looking for a friend to confide in, some are looking for someone to believe them, and others are looking for resources. Your book--and thus your sharing of your experiences--will certainly help some of those people. So, thank you for sharing.

Your note also raised another interesting point, which is how everyone tends to focus on the statistics. One, even if only 1 in 100 women were being sexually abused that would be too many, and two, statistics ignore the long-term emotional (and sometimes physical) impact that this can have on a woman throughout her life and further reduce this experience to a momentary thing. I know too many people who have been abused to believe that it is something that goes away. You may be healed, but you can never forget.

Besides your book, there are others that have proven to be helpful: Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman (other books by her as well), The Drama of a Gifted Child by Alice Miller (other books by her as well), and a great book by Sandy Bloom, the title escapes me. Check our Bookstore for other suggestions.

Thanks again for sharing with me and countless others. You have helped us all.


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