Over the past several years, I turned my personal experience into a book titled Invisible Target. Below is a short summary of the book.
Nearly 1 in 10 students between kindergarten and their senior year of high school will experience some form of sexual misconduct by a school employee. Nearly 1 in 10 equals almost 4.5 million students.
Invisible Target is a true, detailed account of my experience of sexual abuse at the hands of my middle school teacher. It follows my journey, beginning with my tumultuous childhood, meeting the teacher, and the grooming process he created to lure me into a false sense of trust and ultimate betrayal. Years of abuse and manipulation finally culminated where I was able to finally break away from him.
Ten years later, after reclaiming my life and freedom, I was contacted by local police, indicating that this teacher was in custody for statutory rape of two fourteen year old girls. In the midst of local media attention, my statement to the police was pivotal in assisting the District Attorney to secure a plea bargain from the teacher, where he was previously claiming he was innocent.
With excerpts from newspaper articles and actual court impact statements from the victims, this book gives the reader a clear picture of how the prevalent epidemic of educator sexual abuse begins, progresses, and affects so many innocent lives.
As I continued to heal from sexual abuse, I would read books written by survivors. Our shared experiences often inspired me to stay strong and positive in my journey toward freedom and true health. Unfortunately, I could never find a book written from the perspective of a victim of educator sexual abuse. I started to realize that perhaps part of the reason I endured this abuse is because I am someone who can finally speak out and share my truth. But it was never enough to merely share my story. People need to learn from my story so they can prevent other children from being abused by school employees. So, I've included a "Consider This" section at the end of each chapter, designed to engage readers in scenario-type discussions. I've also written an entire chapter devoted to resources. There are statistics, research, and websites for helpful organizations included, as well as advice specific to students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Invisible Target will serve as a strong educational resource for students, parents, teachers, and administrators by shedding light on the dynamics of educator sexual abuse, so schools can be safe havens for every child.
I have written Invisible Target with the intention of educating various groups of people about the most important things they need to learn in order to prevent sexual abuse from happening to students at the hands of school employees. Specific groups include parents, teachers, school administrators, as well as older students who could handle the mature nature of the content.
I believe that anyone who cares for children should read Invisible Target.
As soon as I decided to self-publish Invisible Target, I started to research the costs involved in creating a high quality book. I learned that the expenses involved were out of my reach. This is when I decided that Kickstarter would be a great platform to try to raise the funds for self-publishing.
I really like the fact that many people can lend a hand in getting Invisible Target published. We all owe it to our children to keep them safe in school, and together we can produce a resource that can be used by many different people to contribute to this important prevention. I also love the fact that I am not asking for donations. Backers of this project can get a copy of Invisible Target as well as other fun rewards. Additionally, when people share my Kickstarter project, they are helping to raise awareness of this terrible epidemic. As I mentioned in my video, even if others only watch the video, we’ve raised awareness together, and then this campaign is already a success.
Creating my goal of $10,000 was not taken lightly. I desperately wanted the goal to be less. However, in order to complete this task of self-publishing, I have to cover all of my bases, which include:
-In-depth editorial assistance
-Full cover creation
-Interior design and layout
The exciting part for me is that I am going to be able to donate books to two organizations near and dear to my heart:
S.E.S.A.M.E. – Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct, and Exploitation
S.E.S.A.M.E., Inc. is dedicated to preventing sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment of students by teachers and school staff. I have been a member of the speaker's bureau for S.E.S.A.M.E. for over ten years, and I have seen first hand the amazing support and guidance this dedicated organization provides to so many survivors and their families.
KidSafe Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to prevent child sexual abuse, bullying and internet dangers by providing education programs to children, seminars to parents, workshops to teachers and counselors and trainings to all professionals working with children. I am honored to join the ranks of KidSafe as an instructor, and I'm thrilled to provide trainings for parents, teachers, and mentors who want to learn how to keep their children safe.
I had fun creating the rewards that you can read about on the right. Every reward I chose was based on incorporating my gratitude for your support as well as raising continued awareness about educator sexual abuse. Please know that whether you back Invisible Target by $1 or $1,000, your support of this project means the world to both me and to children out there that will be better protected by those who read this book. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Risks and challenges
There aren't many risks I can think of when it comes to publishing Invisible Target. The manuscript is completed. I've found a great group of professionals ready to work with me to produce the highest quality book, inside and out. I think the biggest risk for me is an emotional risk. I'm really putting all of this out there for the world to see? "Daunting" would be the understatement of the year. However, this is not about me or my comfort level. It's about protecting children, plain and simple. Risk? The risk would be not sharing my story.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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