April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and "victim #1" in a child sexual abuse case that made global headlines just two years ago was one involving former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky. NY1's Shelley Goldberg sat down with "victim #1" in the case against Sandusky and filed the following report.
Aaron Fisher, "victim #1" in the sexual abuse case against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, is determined to shine a light on the issue of child sexual abuse.
"You know, this is kind of one of those things where you can no longer look away from it," Fisher says.
Fisher, with the help of his psychologist, Mike Gillum, and his mom, tells his story in the book "Silent No More."
"It was very helpful to me, very therapeutic to me to get it out there, to get people to see that this is actually happening and it's happening in numbers, and not only numbers, but it's happening with people who are well-known," Fisher says. "For instance, Jerry Sandusky being this big-time football coach, and he ends up sexually abusing several, several, several children."
According to Gillum, the number of victims of child sexual abuse is staggering.
"There are about 30 percent of the population is sexually abused by the time they're 18 years old," Gillum says.
Fisher, abused from the age of 11, shared his story with parents at a luncheon hosted by the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
"Child sexual abuse is preventable," says Mary Pulido of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. "If they have suspicions or that weird feeling in their gut that maybe something isn't right with their child, that someone may be abusing their child, that they have to act on it."
"Kids are often worried about, 'Well, if I tell on what my teacher did or what my coach did, I'm afraid my coach won't like me,'" Gillum says. "And you have to reassure them that everything will be fine, you just need to know what happened, and that your parents will take care of it from there."
"If a child's going to come to you saying that they were sexually abused by anybody, at that point, you take the word of your child over anybody else," Fisher says.
It's Fisher's word that he hopes will help parents and children alike.
"The more people understand, the more they talk about it. The more they talk about it, the more they can help their children so that this may not happen to them," he says.