"I would like to take this opportunity to honor the victims of child abuse who feel voiceless. You are not to blame and you are not alone. Together we can end the cycle." -anonymous
TERRIE BARBER "Abused starting at 6, and several other times in my life. Threatened if I tell; I would be killed, 'and if I can do this; you know I can kill you too!'"
ARTHUR J. BASELICE III "I would like to nominate Our Son Arthur J. Baselice III, for his courage in coming forth to identify his abusers and his valiant efforts in trying to survive."
CECIBEL CONTRERAS "I would like to nominate this Heroine for her advocacy work and her tireless efforts to spread awareness and educate the community about the damaging effects of child sexual abuse. She was one of the first Silence Breakers back in 1994 and I’ve followed her work throughout the years."
JUSTIN CONWAY "Justin Conway is a remarkable survivor who refused to let the legal system fail him and countless other survivors. Because of his bravery, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations investigated allegations from him and other men against their taekwondo instructor from childhood. The GBI found their claims credible and explained that the primary reason they could not prosecute was due to the statutes of limitations. Not long after, Justin was on the front lines in Georgia fighting against some of the worst statutes of limitations in the United States."
JOE DIANGELO "I nominate Joe Diangelo. Joe's original name was Yoel Deutsch. He grew up in the ultra orthodox Chassidic neighborhood of Williamsburg, in Brooklyn, NY. At age 7, he was raped in a a mikvah, a ritual bath. He left orthodox Judaism when he was 17. In 2009, Joe was one of the first ex-Chassidic Jews to be publicly interviewed in the media about his sex abuse, by National Public Radio - that was where I first met Joe. He became an activist. He worked in medical billing. On October 15, 2014, Joe was found dead, from an accidental drug overdose. I last saw Joe a couple years earlier, at a screening of the film "Standing Silent", organized by Yeshiva University students, which tells the story of Phil Jacobs, editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times, and his own fight against child sex abuse - Joe, as always, was cheerful and friendly. Joe was 34 when he died. Joe's memory will always be a blessing."
SHAUN DOUGHERTY "Shaun Dougherty, the victim of a Johnstown, PA priest, has become on if the stalwarts of the movement to end the statutes of limitations in Pennsylvania and New York. He is indefatigable as he runs a popular restaurant on Long Island and does all he possibly can in both states for the cause and survivors. He is known for making unforgettable signs that send just the right message!"
THOMAS DOYLE "I would like to nominate Tom Doyle because of his unrelenting work for victims of child abuse around the world. His example and the sacrifices he has made help abuse victims and their families find some justice. Thank you."
BRIDIE FARRELL "I would like to nominate Bridie Farrell to the Wall of Heros for her commitment and work in New York these past few years. #MeToo Thank you Bridie."
COREY FELDMAN "For all he's done to bring attention to this horrific crime against children. God Bless Corey Feldman. My daughter who is now 32 years old was molested by her natural father. I had no idea and lived for decades with guilt that I should have seen signs but there truly weren't any. I can say that Karma caught up with him. When I say "he was taken out with the trash", I'm not meaning it figuratively. I mean it very literally. Her biological father was on his motorcycle coming home from work as a correction officer when he crashed into a garbage truck. He died at the scene. Both of my kids were molested by him, their natural father. My son will be 30 years old this Feb 5th. Both of my kids never would really talk about it till Corey Feldman started to make it okay to talk about what we always assumed was a "dirty little secret". My kids and I are now closer than ever and it's allowed us to begin to heal. Thanks Corey for helping to put my family back together and allow me to let go of decades of guilt and to move forward with my kids. My daughter is now in a very contentious divorce and we are so close that she's moved into my home with my grandson and my son who currently lives in upstate NY is planning on relocating here to NE Florida this spring."
"Corey has been the voice of sex abuse victims in Hollywood for twenty years but no one wanted to hear the truth. His persistence and bravery are truly remarkable. Child actors will be safer because Corey refused to go away or back down."
ANGELA MARIE THOMPSON VALENTIN GOMEZ "I’m a survivor of longterm childhood sexual amongst other types of abuse as well. It was reported within the statutes but the person went on the run as soon as questioning began, it became a dead end and swept under the rug by the detectives and child youth services. I am a survivor but its still extremely hard every day and has affected the way my life has been and still continues to affect me to this day in so many ways. My prayers are with the other survivors."
JUDY K. KATZ "I wish to nominate myself for the Wall of Heroes in support of declaring "victory" for the precious victims of childhood sexual abuse. I was a 12 yr. old victim of sexual abuse by my father. I spent decades trying to hide from the shame and guilt that plagued me as a result of the experience and mostly, as a result of the negative conditioning of my mind that came from my childhood sexual abuse. My life was a mess, particularly when it came to my intimate relationships. I desperately wanted love in my life, and I was terrified of it at the same time. The effects of my negative conditioning carried throughout my adult life until I turned 39. That's when I fell into the darkest and most shameful night of my soul. It was really the best/worst thing that happened to me, while I certainly didn't feel it was best for me at that time. My daughters lives were drastically impacted by the poor choices I was making, and at my lowest point, I was suicidal and deeply depressed. I felt so incredibly alone, unlovable, powerless, and my self esteem was at its lowest. I was buried by the boulder of shame. I can honestly now say, after a fierce journey into the depths of my mind and soul, I am free and happy! I have a fabulous marriage of 25 years, I love what I do in helping others to be freed from their past, fear-based conditioning, and, most of all, I finally love and respect who I am. My relationship with with my God/Creator is beautiful and amazing. I credit my spiritual journey for leading me into the shameful dark places within me with love and compassion. This is what allowed me to heal and transform the negative conditioning from my past abuse into the truth of who I really am, a powerful co creator with God. I am no longer imprisioned by my shame and desperate attempts to "look good" to be right with and safe in the world. While, make no mistake, this is a life long journey, and for me, a very spiritual one, and is SO worth it. A huge part of my work today, and has been for the past 25 years, is dedicated to helping others be freed from their negative conditioning and thrive as a creator in their life rather than be victim to their past abuse and the detrimental conditioning that comes from this level of abuse of power, disrespect, and betrayal by a parent or caregiver. I declare "victory" for healed survivors of childhood sexual abuse. It is time to know our divine inner power, that we are indeed loved and lovable, that we are valuable, we are greater than any and all circumstances that we have ever encountered, and that we have the power to transform any past conditioning that renders us as a powerless victim which is less than the truth of who we truly are. Because of the reigning power of divine love, compassion, acceptance and forgiveness, healing is real and is available to everyone. It is a choice, a fierce choice that can save your life! It did mine! My dream is that every victim of childhood sexual abuse be healed and to know how magnificent they are, how powerful they are, how lovable they are! That victims can and are born to become the creators they were born to be! Yes! My heart-felt thanks to CHILD USA for creating this platform so we may inspire others to take back their power and thrive. Perpetrators need to be aware of the profound, life-long, negative impact that childhood sexual abuse creates for their victims as a result of the detrimental mental conditioning/programming that occurs when this level of gross abuse of power, betrayal, violation, and disrespect happens to a child, especially when the child is told, "don't tell." It's time to speak up, and I am. Yes, our laws need to change and we need to take a stand for the children who are currently being abused. We must help them be safe and secure. They need to know it's NOT their fault. They deserve to be loved and supported when they speak up. To the adult survivors, please, I invite you to be courageous and do the inner work that is necessary to free yourself from the negative, limited conditioning that causes suffering and shame. Let's not let this happen to our future generations of children. There is a better way. I thank God every day that I know who I really am and what I'm really made of, LOVE, and you are too!"
STEVE JIMENEZ "I would like to nominate my hero and friend Steve Jimenez. His tireless fight for kids and justice inspires me, and his big heart warms me. Thank you Steve!"
ASHLEY JUDD "Ashley Judd (actress) has had her own sad personal experience(s) of her as a child and also the adult sexual violations, that happened in her personal life... Ashley is an advocate of speaking up and out on human rights."
ANN LINDGREN "Ann Lindgren was an early supporter of the former Cult Awareness Network ("CAN") and later chaired that national group for two years. CAN also brought attention to faiths and cults that abetted medical neglect of children. Ann passed away November 17, 2017, survived by her husband, Jerry Lindgren. Rita Swan knew her well, and sometimes stayed with Ann and Jerry when working in Oregon."
SHANNA MARIA "I would like to honor myself for stepping out of the shadows and be a light of hope and healing for other survivors. I now speak and share my story amongst other things."
DORIS MAYES "I would like to nominate ghost writer Doris Mayes for having the courage to write her new non fiction book Defined and have it published on Amazon. A story of hope and survival that entails both her and her niece's journey in overcoming childhood sexual abuse by family members. The statue of limitations had run out for both of us by the time we were old enough to understand what we had gone through as childlren. The statue of limitations so need to be changed. Children can't be responsible for what was forced upon them. God Bless this work."
MIKE MCDONNELL "Mike was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. He’s been through a rough time in his life. He has found peace and joy by helping others get through their struggles. He donates his time continually and is fighting to get laws changed to punish offenders. if Mike isn’t a hero, no one is!"
"I would like to nominate Mike McDonnell to the Child USA Wall of heroes. As a mother of two, he has given me hope in the "system". He is constantly advocating for children who cannot advocate for themselves and working to make a stronger system to protect children. He has displayed some of the greatest courage and strength I have seen and through his hardships he has brought greater protection for children and has worked continuously to extend the statue of limitations for children who have sustained abuse. I know these efforts have tired him emotionally and physically, but he has perservered and continues to make this world a better place. He is definitely a hero to so many and it would be wonderful to recognize his efforts and successes. The world needs more Mike McDonnell's in it! Thanks very much for your time and consideration of this incredible man!"
SEAN PATRICK MCILMAIL "I would like to nominate Sean McIlmail as a hero for his courage and selflessness to come forward against a predator."
"I would like to nominate Sean McIlmail who had the courage to face a child predator, a priest who he and his family had grown to trust."
"I would like to nominate my brother Sean McIlmail as a hero. He had the courage to come forward and speak against a child predator, all with the hopes of protecting others, and with the hopes of creating a safer environment for his 2 nephews . Sean was brave in coming forward, but he did so because he knew it was for the best and he wanted to make the best out of a painful situation. I admire Sean for his courage and hope others will do the same in recognizing him as a hero."
MARITA MURPHY "I stood up to a male dominated legal system here when my perpetrators lied to the investigating Police in my cold case gang rape at 7, this decision came with great financial risk and was made on the very day a little gang rape victim (Geelong at 14) pulled the pin on her criminal trial. So l stood up, didn’t back down and lost when 3 male judges over ruled a woman judges prior ruling that my case go on to trial. I paid my “alledged” perpretraitor over 100k in a personal cheque and still owe more. My Mother was university educated and l sadly left all formal schooling completely aged 12. I don’t want to see other youngsters lose their right to a safe and happy childhood marred by sexual abuse like mine. Remember that silence is only golden to rapists and abusers. #metoo sadly, but change is in the air. We just had the end of the Royal Commission here in Australia and l thank Boston, America for that. My hometown of Ballarat was badly damaged. However only 20% is institutional the other 80% is in private settings. So we had SPOTLIGHT now we must HIGHLIGHT. Thanks for giving me a voice. Something l couldn’t get here either criminal nor civilly. Please google “Marita Murphy Court case” (there wasn’t one) for my story."
NICOLE ROWE "I would like to nominate Nicole Rowe as my personal hero. In 2005, we were seniors in high school, she was only 17 at the time but still had my back and stood up for me when no one else would... including even myself or the faculty at our school. I was being heavily manipulated (and groomed) by one of our teachers which then turned into a very inappropriate, abusive relationship which lasted for years and never should have occurred to begin with. Not only did Nicole try to get the Headmaster to investigate but she was brave enough to risk our friendship to help me when I didn't even realize at the time I needed it. After not speaking to her for over a decade due to her sticking up for me (which I now recognize was incredibly brave of her), the school decided to finally investigate their massive cover-up of the last 60+ years as more and more victims from previous decades came forward. What I later learned Nicole came forward again after 10+ years of us not speaking where she once again spoke the truth, went out of her way to try to get justice for a former friend who at this point she barely knew anymore and protect future children from our high school from going through a very similar situation. Back in 2005 not one faculty member looked out for me nor investigated as they should have, but Nicole spoke the truth and stood up. 10 plus years later she did the exact same thing, re-reporting it, testifying in a grand jury, going to Harrisburg to speak on the injustices of statute of limitations with me, etc. Once we reconnected through all of this I couldn't have thanked her more. It may have taken me in my now 30s to truly understand how lucky I was to have her try to help me back then and then again now. Later I also learned she became a school counselor due to what happened, the cover-up and the injustices that occurred throughout our senior year. She is now helping future generations of children and I can't think of a better person to do so. She's definitely my personal hero."
KATHRYN ROBB "Kathryn is a giant among advocates for all survivors. She is relentless and creative in addressing the powers that are blocking justice in the #MeToo era."
JOSEPH SINAGRA "I would like to nominate Chief Joseph Sinagra of the Saugerties, New York Police Department as a hero. After more than 40 years as a sexual abuse survivor, I wrote my high school principal and superintendent to let them know what happened many years on their premises and how I was treated as an adolescent, which was disgusting. My only request was that they not treat anyone like I was treated and I alerted them I was not the only victim. Nothing Happened. I waited a few months and sent a copy of the letter to each of the members of the board of education. It was then that I received an email from Chief Sinagra. He introduced himself, and let me know he had experience in sexual abuse and assult and wanted to speak with me and offer a detective to look into my case. Chief Sinagra scheduled a conference call with the superintendent and has never stopped wanting to help. I can make one statement when it comes to Chief Sinagra--To this day and after more than 40 years of dealing with this mess on a day to day basis; Chief Sinagra is the only human being who has taken any interest in my story and me (and that includes family), has kept in touch and has been an ongoing advocate for the Child Victims Act in the state of New York. He is a true hero indeed!!"
PAUL VAN BLARCUM "I planned a Dare to Dream evening in my hometown and had it scheduled at a nearby junior college. Sheriff Van Blarcum went to the same high school I did and graduated a year prior to me. I invited Sheriff Van Blarcum to the Dare to Dream, and prior to that he had me meet him at his office. He said he would be there. On the night of the Dare to Dream, everyone had gone into the auditorium, and the last person walking up the stairs in his full uniform was Sheriff Van Blarcum. He sat in the last row on the end seat and I could see him the entire meeting and felt safe. At the end of the meeting, he came by to shake my hand and said he was proud of me, and that he heard I would be making trips up to Albany for the Child Victims Act. He looked at me then and said if I ever needed a ride, to give him a call and if he could not find a ride he would personally drive me to Albany and make sure I got there. I went to the car and cried for this was so new to me. This coming from a person I idolized in high school because I was going through hell and he played football and he and his brothers dated the prettiest girls."
MANNY WAKS "Manny is an international leader in the fight for justice for victims of child sex abuse in the Jewish community. His testimony in Australia before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse highlighted the need for reform in yeshivas worldwide."