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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Sexual Abuse Recovery
By Sharron Huffman and Erica Schafer DeNorscia


November 29, 2011
Tuesday AM

Sexual abuse of children is disturbingly prevalent in our society. According to Briere and Eliot in the 2003 journal article, "Prevalence and Psychological Sequence of Self-Reported Childhood Physical and Sexual Abuse in General Population," as many as one in three girls and one in seven boys will be sexually abused at some point in their childhood.

Sexual abuse is a traumatizing experience. The damage can be profound and lifelong. It is possible, however, to recover. To heal. It is never too late to start the healing process, even if decades have passed. The first step, the key, is to NOT KEEP THE SECRET. If you are an adult carrying the secret of your own abuse, you need to talk to someone you trust and find support for your recovery.

If you know of a child who is experiencing abuse or is at risk, you need to get help immediately. Call law enforcement or social services. A list of Ketchikan agencies with their contact information is at

Here are some websites that can help with understanding and taking action:

For a list of services in Ketchikan for reporting abuse, getting help, or finding a counselor, go to:

For free, confidential support whether the assault happened recently or decades ago, go to: Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) Hotline: 800-656-4673.

For good resources and information for anyone impacted by child sex abuse, go to: Stop It Now! Online Help Center

If you suspect or know a child is being abused, sexually or physically, call Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD; 24 Hours a Day.

Sharron Huffman
Portland, OR

Erica Schafer DeNorscia
Boulder, Colorado

About: "Former longtime residents of Ketchikan, Sharron is a retired teacher, business owner, and artist living in Portland, Oregon; Erica, a Valley Park and Kayhi alumna, is an expressive artist and counselor living in Boulder, Colorado."

Received November 28, 2011 - Published November 29, 2011



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