Child abuse survivor recounts horrifying rape experience

PHOTO AT TOP: Patrick Dati discusses his book, I Am Me.

Gabrielle Phifer
Medill Reports

Life after being abused can be one of the toughest moments for any person, especially for a child. Patrick Dati was just 9 years old when he was sexually abused in a bathroom at a Chicago department store.

It was difficult being abused but even more difficult when he found out his abuser was responsible for killing over 30 young boys. The shame and guilt followed him for years and there was no one that knew him that saw the signs.

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According to Children’s Adovacy Center, 37% of children are abused between the ages of 7 and 12. Abuse isn’t always easy to notice. It’s not always easy to prevent, but parents can play a huge part in the process after abuse. Recognizing the signs and having an open dialogue with the child about speaking up and how to protect themselves are two important ways to help prevent the child from experiencing further problems.

Dati has turned his abuse into advocacy but there are many children who are still suffering. If you think your child might have been abused, there are many resources to help your child heal. Visit the Illinois Children’s Advocacy Center website to learn more information.

Photo at top: Abuse survivor Patrick Dati discusses his book, I Am Me. (Gabrielle Phifer/MEDILL)