Vanessa Williams has revealed that a childhood molestation that she endured has had an effect on her as an adult. On an episode of Oprah’s master class the actress talked about the incident that happened when she and her family were on vacation in California.

She met an 18 year old girl encouraged her to try different things like smoking and Vanessa felt pressured to do so because she wanted to be seen as ‘cool’. It didn’t end there however, Vanessa remebered the young woman coming into the room where she and her friend were sleeping and telling Vanessa to lie on the floor.

On doing so the young woman proceeded to perform oral sex on her. Vanessa recounted:

At 10 years old, I had no idea what it was, but I knew it felt good. And I knew I shouldn’t say anything.

Unfortunately keeping this incident to herself did not allow Vanessa Williams to heal and had a lasting effect on her through to her adulthood. She said:

I think that had that not happened in my life, there wouldn’t have been that shame that was kind of always haunting me. I think it made me more sexually promiscuous and more curious at a younger age than I should have been.

With the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau reporting that 1 in 5 girls are the victims of sexual assault, her story will serve as a reminder that keeping these incidents are not easily brushed under the carpet and truly forgotten by their victims.

The Department of Justice reports that kids between the ages of 7 and 13 years old are the most vulnerable to sexual abuse. According to Child Lures Prevention:

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So who are these sexual offenders?

  • Males and Females
  • Young Adults, Middle-Aged Adults, and Seniors
  • Upper Class, Middle Class, and Disadvantaged
  • All Races & Ethnicities
  • Vocationally Diverse

One child pornography sting operation by the U.S. Justice Department and Customs Postal Inspectors resulted in well over two hundred arrests. The occupations of those arrested was a virtual rainbow of American life, representing 44% of all occupations listed by the U.S. Department of Labor.

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