During a recent TV appearance on Fox’s new daytime show, “The Daily Help Line,” actress Tisha Campbell-Martin disclosed a childhood trauma that she had never spoken about publicly before confessing she was raped at 3-years-old.
The actress, best known best for her roles in “Martin” and “My Wife And Kids,” appeared on the program as a part of a panel where she dished out advice to an audience member who was dealing with the aftermath of an abuse trauma. “You can’t play the victim — and I’m not trying to put you down or anything — but he’s winning,” she said. “You’re making a conscious decision to harm yourself, to hurt yourself, and allow this person to still have dominion over your life. You can’t do that anymore.” What initially sounded like Campbell-Martin dishing out a bit of tough love led the actress to make the stunning revelation.
“The reason I can absolutely say this to you without judgment or anything else — and this is the first time I ever said this on camera in front of millions, national, people — is that I too have been a victim of the same thing,” she continued. “When I was three I was raped, by an older person. Now I knew as a child that I did nothing wrong and that this wasn’t my fault, but I have found forgiveness in the guilt that I might’ve had.I felt like, “Did I pull this in? Did I do something at 3 years old?” No. It’s a heinous crime.”
Sadly Campbell-Martin represents the far too large number of people who experience childhood sexual abuse. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau estimates that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse. Some 15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12, according to The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Sexual assault and rape are still widely considered taboo topics to discuss across the board and many of these violations are never reported, especially in the instance of children, who may not even know how to express what happened. But, as Martin-Campbell shows us, there can be healing in speaking up and discussing such traumas and even empowerment for others to do the same.
“The DailyHelpline” airs daily on Fox; other entertainers, including Brandy,TLC’s Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Loni Love are slated to appear and share their experiences. For local showtimes, or to submit a question to the show, visit thedailyhelpline.com.
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) offers free and confidential assistance to for the sexual abused, their families and friends. Call 1.800.656.HOPE to be connected to a live representative now, or visit rainn.org for more information.
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