Story Topic: Sexual Abuse

Susan Waters (England)

Susan Waters is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. She is the mother of three children and lives in the Midlands. Her story has been an anonymous story on The Forgiveness Project website since 2005. In 2016, with her parents now dead, she waived her right to anonymity. The pressure to blindly forgive, particularly within Church… more

Liz Stone (USA)

Photo by Amber Cashio Liz Stone was just 16 when her best friend was murdered; compounding her existing depression she was later hospitalized for attempted suicide. After a series of abusive relationships, she married and started a family but the trauma of her past caught up with her. I’ve been held captive twice in my… more

Dave Dineen (Ireland)

Photo by Brian Moody Dave Dineen first encountered sexual abuse at the age of seven. Through a stormy childhood he found himself placed in the care of a religious institution in Cork. His healing journey has been about learning to live with a difficult past. He is the CEO and Founder of LÁMH Healing Foundation… more

Geoff Thompson (England)

Photo by Steve Ullathorne Geoff Thompson grew up in working-class Coventry. At the age of twelve he was abused by an adult he trusted.  The incident shattered his self-esteem and led to a decade of violence.  He has since become a martial arts instructor, teacher and author of over 34 books.  The short film Romans… more

Lorenn Walker (Hawaii)

Photography by Timothy Pinault Lorenn Walker JD, MPH, is a Hawai’i-based health educator with extensive legal and social service experience. In 1976 she was brutally attacked while on holiday in Waikiki Hawai’i.  The trauma of the attack began a lifelong path of healing. You can find further information at lorennwalker.com. I was visiting my sister for… more

Jayne Stewart (England)

Jayne and her brother were sexually abused by their father for many years. He denies that the abuse ever happened. As an adult, Jayne cut off all contact with her father, but in 1998 she decided to get back in touch with him and has continued to dialogue despite irreconcilable differences. Tragically, in 1999, Jayne’s… more

Penny Beernsten (USA)

Photography by Brian Moody In 1985 Penny Beerntsen was brutally beaten and sexually assaulted in a state park in Wisconsin. Soon afterwards, Steven Avery was convicted of the crime. Eighteen years later, however, advances in DNA testing revealed that he had been innocent all along. A couple of years after the attack I remember saying… more