Surveys and studies show that 10 percent of adults in Iowa were sexually abused as children, and experts have reason to believe the rate is even higher.
"I think we still have a hard time talking about sex, and we need to be able to talk about this better," says Liz Cox Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Iowa.
"Just in the last year, the millions of dollars that have gone to major lawsuits around sexual abuse, sexual discrimination, and sexual exploitation - even in the professional world - speak to that. That even we as adults don’t know how to hold each other accountable in incidents against other adults."
On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Cox about the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse, the damage it can cause, and how we can work to prevent it. Also included in the discussion are brothers, Blayhn and Blayke "Pokey" Spears, who grew up in Dike, Iowa.
Pokey is a former arena football player who lives in Oklahoma as a filmmaker. Blayhn lives in Cedar Rapids. They are working together on a film project called, “Unspoken” inspired by the abuse Blayhn survived as a child.
"I really want to use this film as a way to let people understand that it’s okay to reach out, and as soon as you do reach out, you’re going to feel lifted and you can be at your lowest point and still gain ground and continue to live a positive life," Pokey says.
“All I want is to be able to help another person, whether an adult or a child, to be able to look and see that there is hope," says Blayhn. "You don’t have to be sad.”