WSET-TV Interviews The Change Group regarding Sexual Abuse.

Nov 11, 2011 No Comments by

The Change Group asked to comment on the Recent Tuscon Shooting

ABC-13 WSET-TV

November 11, 2011 (reprint)
Reporter: Rachel Schaerr | Videographer: Daniel Heffner

Lynchburg, VA – According to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti sexual violence organization, as many as one in three girls and one in seven boys will be sexually abused at some point in their childhood.

One victim wanted to share his painful story so others know they’re not alone.

Bradley Cuneo says it’s been 14 years since he was sexually abused by his father, and he’s finally beginning to heal.

“At night he would come into my room and tell me to be quiet,” Cuneo said from his home in Campbell County.

He says his father raped and molested him nearly every day until he was 10 years old. The scars are emotional and physical.

“I had to have stitches internally because of the sexual abuse,” he said.

But one night stands out — Cuneo had just gotten home from vacation bible school when he says his father tried to make him perform oral sex.

“I remember saying, ‘Daddy God don’t like this.’ And he said, ‘Yes, God does’ and he continued to do it,” said Cuneo.

He says he eventually reached out for help and told his mother.

“And I remember my mother smacking me and telling me to get back in the room with my father,” he recalls.

Cuneo began acting out — in school, using drugs and eventually ending up behind bars.

Lindsey Scott is a victim’s advocate for Crisis Line’s Sexual Assault Response Program. She says symptoms of sexual abuse include difficulty sleeping or nightmares, changes in eating habit and sudden mood swings.

Victims often require a lifetime of counseling. Ryan Neace, a counselor for The Change Group in Lynchburg, recommends talking to your kids about sexual abuse before it happens and considering making with a prevention plan.

Cuneo says he’s found the woman of his dreams and turned his life around.

“I’m not on drugs, it’s easy to talk about it even with you,” he said.

He has a message to other little boys and girls: you’re not alone.

Mental health professionals say if you suspect your child is being abused, tell them it isn’t their fault, encourage them to call police and seek professional counseling.

Victims can call a confidential hotline 24 hours a day. That number is 1-800-838-8238.

(This story originally ran on WSET-TV, ABC 13, on November 10, 2011 during the 5pm, 6pm, and 7pm news. ┬áThe article can also be viewed on WSET’s website at http://www.wset.com/story/16012428/most-sexual-abuse-victims-dont-make-headlines)

The Change Group Blog

About the author

Ryan Thomas Neace is the co-founder and managing director of The Change Group, and holds a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy. He brings nearly 10 years of mental health experience to The Change Group. He is also an official blogger for the American Counseling Association.
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