I created a Facebook page around a year and a half ago to celebrate the work of Marilyn Van Derbur Atler, a childhood incest survivor, motivational speaker and pioneer in breaking the silence around childhood sexual abuse who did not speak publicly about her abuse until 35 years later. Marilyn has devoted much of her adult life to raising national awareness and understanding of sexual abuse and its long-term effects. She has done thousands of interviews and has spoken in over 600 cities. She was on the front pages of the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post more often than any other woman in the 20th century. When People Magazine put her picture on the cover, there was a national outpouring from survivors who turned to her for help and support. Marilyn has personally answered over 8000 letters from survivors. She continues to help survivors even in her 80”s. Survivors line up for two or three hours just to tell her their stories. Using her experiences as the scaffolding and cutting edge research as the foundation she shares knowledge and insight through stories that are rivetting and instructive. Her new book, “Miss America By Day Lessons Learned from Ultimate Betrayals and Unconditional Love” won first place in the inspirational book category.
If you feel you could use some validation, encouragement, inspiration to heal and support, please subscribe to the page I made to celebrate Marilyn Van Derbur’s book called “Miss America By Day: Lessons Learned From Ultimate Betrayals And Unconditional Love”. Most of what is posted are quotes from her book. She has several interviews posted on Youtube that you can look up too to find out who she is. Her lectures are so empowering and is proof that if we do the work of healing that we can come out the other end and have a deeply fulfilling life.
While the topic of incest is not easy, what’s worse is burying it under the rug pretending it doesn’t happen often enough to worry about. This gives more power to the perpetrators. Keeping it buried not only affects you, but the collective as well. Doctor and Psychiatrist Maria Sauzlier once said that the taboo against talking about incest is stronger than the taboo against doing it. This needs changing. Incest is the best kept secret in the world which is why the stats are unreliable. The more we talk about it, the more aware we are that sexual abuse doesn’t just happen to “those people living in those places”, but rather people from ALL walks of life. The more we talk about it, the more we also open space for others to do the same and share their stories.. If you know someone who has been subjected to childhood sexual abuse, all the more you might be interested in Marilyn’s book and in the page I made to celebrate her so that you can learn how to be supportive.
For those interested, here is the Facebook page I created.