Take back the night

Ferris social work association hosts sexual abuse speaker

From a child sex abuse victim to an author and activist, Nicole Braddock Bromley spoke to Ferris students about sexual abuse.

“I was a victim of child sexual abuse,” Bromley said.

The Ferris social work association hosted Bromley for “Take Back the Night” on April 14 in Williams Auditorium.

Bromley shared her story, her “secret” of the sexual abuse she endured from her stepfather for 10 years.

“He made me believe I had no choice in the matter and he made me believe that there was no way out,” Bromley said. “[Abusers] use many tactics to silence or control the victims.”

After Bromley mustered up the courage to tell her mom, they pressed charges, and shortly after, her stepfather committed suicide.

Bromley is now on mission to raise voices of those who have been abused. In addition to writing books about her experience, she is working to stop human trafficking and has started the non-profit organization One Voice, which raises awareness for many sexual abuse related crimes and offers support.

According to Bromley, one in three girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused by the time they are 18 years old.

“If you have been abused, I want you to know that you’re not alone,” Bromley said. “If you are sexually assaulted, it is not your fault.”

One in five women will be victims of attempted rape, according to Bromley.

Bromley extended her work to help fight modern day slavery in Cambodia. She said 50 percent of teens in Cambodia are sexually abused. She works to deliver shoes, her story and teach parents not to sell their children, as they often end up working in the sex trade. Many parents sell their children in Cambodia without knowing exactly what they are doing. Bromley works to stop that.

“Be a power to break the silence,” Bromley said.

Ferris freshman social work major Sam Baeten helped with the event as a part of the social work association.

“[Take back the night is] important because sexual abuse and sexual assault is very common on college campuses,” Baeten said. “By girls getting informed and encouraged to speak about it, this can stop.”

Baeten said there are many people on campus that students can talk to, including social workers and psychologists.

“No matter what your past looks like, no matter the secrets you might be keeping, whether in your own life or your family’s life or circumstances that you’ve lived through, no matter what you’ve done, no matter where you’ve been… there are always people out there willing to help,” Bromley said.