Catherine St. Germain put markers, pictures and words together to make a video that is so powerful, it has 50 million views and counting. The story she told silently is a war cry, calling out particularly to single moms, to share her experience of falling in love and marrying a man who eventually sexually assaulted her teenage daughter.
This rallying mama explains the details of her family's harrowing experience to educate and support other families. She wants every viewer to understand how sexual predators methodically groom their potential victims and how parents can use the national sex offender database to look up coaches, caregivers, family friends and even people they are dating as another protective barrier to their children. On the day we recorded this podcast, her former husband was released from his 90-day jail sentence. She and her daughter, St. Germain says, got the life sentence.
Still, they don't call themselves victims. Listen in to hear the name they've given themselves to live louder and stronger than the sexual assault they're fighting together.
If this episode or video are triggering for you, you are not alone. They were tough for me, too. The show notes include supportive resources that have helped St. Germain and many others. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and there is safety, support and comfort available to you every day through these organizations.
Watch the full video and share via Facebook here.
BACA - Bikers Against Child Abuse, which Catherine mentions as an empowering, supportive group that has greatly helped her family.
Search the national sex offender database here.
Five things you can do for yourself or for a loved one who has survived sexual abuse.
NoMore.org offers activist campaigns, education, story sharing and resources to help survivors and to end sexual assault and domestic violence.
RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network offers information, support and stories.
YWCAs around the country offer safety services for women who've been impacted by violence, including emergency shelters, sexual assault support groups, counseling and other resources. Find your local YWCA affiliate here.