Survivor Stories

  • Breaking the Silence

    Empowering survivors one story at a time.

    When victims share their stories, they become survivors. When survivors share their story, they have the last word; it’s hope. By sharing personal stories of abuse, disclosure, trauma, and healing, we will bring unity and strength to the community of men, women, and child that have experienced the evil of child abuse. We hope to give others the courage to break the silence. Speaking out about abuse is difficult—sixty-two percent of children who endure sexual abuse never disclose it. We will lend you courage. As you read these stories, if you have experienced abuse, we hope you will find your voice.

  • Kristina Dunlap

    Kristina Dunlap, a successful local business owner, recently sat down with Children’s Center to share her story. While her childhood includes years of abuse, her story is one of survival, perseverance, healing, and hope.

    It is personal and intimate when victims share their experience of abuse. While no one has faced the same circumstances, survivors have a common thread that unites them. There is power and freedom available when you break the silence by sharing your story. When you speak out, you shine the light, and it means you do not suffer alone anymore.

    Throughout Kristina’s childhood, she interacted with people who could have intervened. School teachers did not question, Sunday school teachers turned a blind eye, emergency room doctors failed to notice the patterns; essentially, the system failed her. Broken relationships, low self-esteem, and a damaging stigma plagued her early years. She was a child longing to be rescued, one who never outgrew her abuse.

    At the age of fourteen, Kristina wanted to commit suicide. After more than 20 years of abuse, Kristina decided to heal. While there was no quick fix solution, years of healing choices and establishing boundaries have given Kristina the ability to remake her life.

    Looking back, what’s the one thing you wish would have happened?

    “My childhood filled with physical abuse from the person who was supposed to love me; sexual abuse from people who were supposed to protect me.

    I just wanted someone to save me.

    I wanted someone to see that I wasn’t okay. I needed help.

    I needed to be rescued.

    If you skip all the horrible things that happened to me, the evil and abuse, the unhealthy ways I responded to that evil. At fourteen, I wanted to die. If you look at my life today, you must know that life can be what you make it. My kids are incredible human beings; my business is a blessing to us and others; we live in the most amazing place with the most amazing people. Life is beautiful.”

    She and her husband now live in Carl Junction; own Bailey’s family restaurant, have three beautiful sons, and a grandbaby.