Speaker breaks the silence of childhood sexual abuse

When Erin Merryn was a child, she dreamed of becoming a writer. She played without a care in the world - just as young children often do. But her carefree childhood was taken from her at her very first sleepover when she was 6 years old. "In the spring of 1991, the world as I knew it changed forever,' Merryn said in front of about 125 women attending the Children's Advocacy Center of Ottawa County's second annual Advocates in Action Ladies Luncheon on Tuesday. "My innocence was killed, my trust was taken and my voice silenced.'
Kyle Moroney
May 26, 2011


Merryn, a nationally recognized speaker of childhood sexual abuse and an Illinois native, was the guest speaker for the fundraising event at the Grand Haven Community Center. She told of how the live-in uncle of a close childhood friend had molested her for the first time while she was at her friend’s house for a sleepover.

Her friend’s uncle walked into the girl’s bedroom while the girls were sleeping and shut the door. He went down to the floor where Merryn was sleeping and began rubbing her back. She woke up and started asking questions.

“I knew it was wrong, but I couldn’t put into words what happened,” she said. “I was praying for morning to come so my mom could pick me up to go home.”

Ottawa County CAC Executive Director Darcy Komejan said Merryn’s message is a difficult story to listen to, but it is critical in today’s society.

To read more of this story, see today’s print edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.


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