Child abuse survivor shares her story in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month

KINSTON, NC (WNCT)-  There were 27 child abuse victims in our state this past year. The Guardian Ad Litem organization has helped a number of people.

“Punched, slapped, thrown to the floor, beaten with broomsticks, I was burned, I was raped,” Lakesha Summer said.

For years Summers was abused by various family members. She continued to report it and someone how ended up in the Lenoir County Court system. She got involved in the Guardian Ad Litem program and met Angela.

Angela Stilley, Lakesha’s guardian said, “I knew that she could overcome what had happened to her, and I just had faith in her.”

Every child that participates in the program gets a guardian, a mentor, friend, and most importantly an advocate in court.

“Before our program existed cases would come to court, and judges wouldn’t get the full picture, they’d get a picture of what social services is recommending, what the parents want, but there was no one speaking just for the child, and this program speaks for these children,” court administrator Colleen Kosinski said.

That brings us back to Summers and Stilley. Summer says without Stilley’s helped she would be locked up. At 26 years-old Stilley isn’t locked up, she has four children and her whole life ahead of her.

If there Is one lesson summers wants you to take from her story it’s to speak up. She says if you are a victim of child abuse say something. More importantly, if you witness child abuse, report it.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. If you want information on how to volunteer click here

WNCT-TV 9 On Your Side provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s