CARROLLTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Jenna Quinn often leans on her faith, which she says has helped her through some tough years.
“I am a sexual abuse survivor, and now I’m an advocate for those hurting,” says the 24 year old from Carrollton. “”One of my favorite verses is Romans Blessed is the person who does not condemn themselves.”
CBS 11 normally does not identify victims of sexual assault, but Quinn refuses to stay silent.
She was sexually abused at age 12 by a close family friend.
“I was best friends with his son. My sister was friends with his daughter. My father was very good friends with him. We did family vacations together,” says Quinn.
The Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center works with cases like Quinn’s everyday.
“If someone is paying more attention to your child then you are then that’s a problem” says Ellen Magnis with the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center.
Experts say look for warning signs among the people you know.
“They are everyday people. They are people in our neighborhoods – they are people we know – people we trust. It’s not the stranger you need to watch out for with your kids it’s the people in our lives,” says Magnis.
There are some things experts say parents can do to help protect their child. For instance, minimize their one-on-one time with an adult. Teach them that their body parts are private and if you take them to daycare make sure there are background checks done on the employees.
The Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center offers no-cost services if parents need help talking to their child.
As for Jenna the University of North Texas student inspired legislation known as “Jenna’s Law,” it requires teachers, parents and students to be made aware of the signs of child sexual abuse.
“I realized that God was there in every step,” says Quinn.
Her advice for children who may be victims: Talk about it.
After all, in her case, she says all it took to get help was telling her sister.