Sioux Falls, SD
National statistics show that someone is sexually abused every two minutes across the United States. Many of those cases will never be reported. But a survivor of sexual abuse is hoping her message will inspire others to speak out.
As the head coach for Oakland University's women's basketball team, Beckie Francis knows a thing or two about motivating. But she was motivated to share her personal and long-time secret story of being sexually abused partly but the scandal at Penn State.
"I was just so frustrated with some of the comments that I heard about some of the victims, what they were saying about the victims, I just decided I had to be a voice for the voiceless," Francis said.
Francis was the keynote speaker for the Children's Home Society's event focused on protecting and treating children who are sexually abused. Francis remembers being abused by her dad as young as the age of four. She kept the pain bottled for years.
"It has taken a lot of year of therapy, a lot of prayer and it's definitely freeing," Francis said.
Francis says stepping out and coming forward with a story of abuse isn't easy, but she hopes sharing her story can inspire others in similar situations to do the same.
"I want them to have a message of hope that no matter what has happened to you in the past that you can really recover and use a platform of evil and turn it into something positive," Francis said.
That is exactly what this coach is hoping her personal story will encourage.
Francis says that coming forward with her story has even made her a better coach. In the past her teams have visited the Children's Home Society in Sioux Falls when playing in the area.