How To Overcome Childhood Sexual Abuse

When I was preparing for this week’s show I came across these astonishing statistics about childhood sexual abuse. You’ll hear them at the beginning of the episode. You may already know them and if so, I invite you to share them with others who don’t. Education is a key element to interrupting the cycle of abuse in our families, societies and cultures.

If you’re struggling with the aftermath of childhood sexual abuse, or you know someone who is, this week’s show was geared toward discussing the impact of childhood sexual abuse, plus the possibility overcoming it. My guest, Rena Romano, is a survivor who has shared her story nationally on Oprah and other media outlets. She told her story and how she recovered, including:

  • how trauma impacted her
  • how she finally got on the path to healing
  • six tips for ways that you can move yourself forward (they’re not counted out so listen well!)
  • the #1 breakthrough that transformed her life

In addition to Rena’s moving testimony, Dr. Marcia Nickow joined me for the Professional Perspective interview to shed light on the question: Is forgiveness necessary to heal?


rena-romanoRena Romano is a presentation skills instructor, author and professional speaker from SW Florida. She has over 20 years of Sales and Marketing experience and public  speaking. She joined Toastmasters in 2007 to continue her growth as a keynote speaker to share her story of triumph over her childhood adversities. Continuing her training as a public speaker she found her purpose as a trainer/teacher and in 2011 received her credentials as a Certified World Class Speaking Coach.

Rena was four years old when her nightmare began; for nearly two decades she was sexually abused, bullied and terrorized by a monstrous relative, eleven years her senior.

Years after the abuse stopped, Rena was stuck in a world of shame and self-abuse. It took fifty years after she was first violated, even after counseling, before she had a  miraculous breakthrough and was finally able to say no more. Rena’s book “His Puppet No More!” is the courageous true story of how she triumphed over the years of horrendous victimization and control of her abusers.

Now empowered to share her unspeakable secrets, it is Rena’s greatest desire to give other victims the courage to seek help, realize their self-worth and live their own extraordinary life.


  1. It took me a very long time to learned by living a destructive life you are allowing the predator or in my case predators to win.

    I fall into these following statistics: 1) Those who grow up in an domestic violent home have a 15% increase of being sexually abused. 2) 85% of those who have ever been in jail have been abused in some way.

    I currently know three women and two men in jail. All the women have admitted to me they have been sexually abused as a child. I know the men, who are brothers, have been sexually abused by their mother’s ex-boyfriend, who also abused the one female as all their parents injected meth into their veins at his home with all the children present for him to abuse.

    Since telling the truth in 2004 about the sexual abuse inflicted upon me beginning at 8 years old, instead of judging I ask this simple question, “What happened to you?” To date all but one (both men and women) admitted to sexual abuse. I was told the one was a liar. I said, “No, she is just not ready to talk about it. Please do not judge her.”

    It is time for our Judicial System to address the issue as 85% is a huge statistic. I was told they get government funding for each inmate, so they do not not want to lose their funding. Well, that is too bad! I have many goals and one is to one day very soon going into prisons asking that one simple question helping millions not caring about their funding. I care about people and they should also.

    My horrific childhood and adulthood has had a very negative affect on my child. She does not understand my PTSD. She tells me to get over it. If it was only that simple. One day she will finally realize how wrong she was to turn her back on her mother, who raised her without child support, doing the best with the tools I was given.

    The only one who EVER protected me was myself. I NEVER wanted her to know what it felt like to not have a mother who cared unconditionally, but she sided with the abuser. I pray once she hears what I survived and what I protected her from she will realize why I was so overprotective of her and my grandchildren. I would take a bullet for them.

    • @Colleen — Such wise words: “…by living a destructive life you are allowing the predator or in my case predators to win.” And I love your attitude of suspended judgment. I believe that’s so important in the world of trauma recovery. We’re judged enough by those who don’t understand. In ourselves we can begin the judgment-free revolution that supports truth in healing without backlash.

      • @Michele, I was thinking last night about how much PTSD has really changed me for the better. I use to think PTSD destroyed me, but I now realize it made me the strong woman I am today.

        The only person who is bringing me to my knees through my grandchildren is my 26 year old child. What she does not realize is that she is misdiagnosed with Bipolar as I was. I told her she has PTSD from when I was pregnant as I researched this, but you cannot tell her anything as she knows it all.

        Although she does not judge her “Bipolar”, she judges my PTSD. She has my 3 year old granddaughter calling me crazy saying, “You’re crazy and mommy said crazy it’s not a bad word.” She has no clue what she is doing to my precious innocent granddaughter because both my granddaughters do not see what she is telling them and neither does my psychologist.

        I just hope they stop because this will cause confusion and resentment within my grandchildren, which could result in mental illness. This will come back on her when her PTSD rears its ugly head like mine did 30 years later and she will then know how I felt being judged by her. She does not want me healthy and happy. She likes the “yes person ole me”, who is gone forever. :)

      • This is near and dear to my heart you are so right. If we allow the prep to cause us to stay in that state of defense we give him power instead of regaining control for ourselves.



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