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Gov. Haley Reveals She Was A Victim Of Childhood Abuse

Gov. Haley Reveals She Was A Victim Of Childhood Abuse

07/10/2013

Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina spoke publicly about the abuse she suffered as a child on Monday. Haley wrote about the experience in her book, Can’t Is Not An Option: My American Story, which was released in April of 2012. Since then, she has rarely spoken about it in public. Haley made an exception this week when she spoke at a Greenville Health System press conference to promote Silent Tears, an organization that aims to “Give a Voice to Child Sexual Abuse.”

Recounting how she had been abused by a couple who cared for her while her mother worked, Haley said that her mother became suspicious when Haley became reluctant to see them. “I never wanted to go, but she didn’t know quite what it was and didn’t think anything of it,” Haley said.

Silent Tears recently released a report filled with suggestions on how to improve South Carolina’s response to child abuse. The report, reportedly based on the findings of the National Child Protection Training Center of child sex abuse in South Carolina, points out the lack of training for those who handle child abuse cases, a problem Haley emphasized at the press conference on a more personal level. “When it happened to me, my parents didn’t know what to do," Haley said. "They didn’t know who to go to. No one knew how to handle it."

The Silent Tears report has garnered support from politicians across the board, and Haley says that it has inspired great efficiency in the South Carolina government. “What has been amazing is since this report came out, everyone has started getting to work quicker than anything,” she said.

In fact, South Carolina Senator Mike Fair and S.C. House Majority Leader, Bruce Bannister plan to introduce a bill that would directly respond to the suggestions in the report.

Read more: Nikki Haley, Silent Tears, Child Abuse, Can't Is Not An Option: My American Story

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