"Breaking the Silence" will air Commercial-free to Shine a Light on the Challenging Journey of Child Abuse Victims

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25 August 2015
Breaking the Silence
Erin Merryn Photo courtesy of Discovery Communications

"Breaking The Silence"
Premieres Sunday, August 30th at 10/9c on Discovery

          An estimated one in ten children will be the victim of sexual abuse before the age of 18. In light of recent events around "19 Kids and Counting" - and in an effort to promote education, raise awareness and advance the conversation on this important matter - TLC has partnered with two of the nation's leading abuse prevention organizations, RAINN and Darkness to Light, on a new documentary addressing the issue.

          BREAKING THE SILENCE will air commercial-free on Sunday, August 30th at 10/9c and shine a light on the challenging journey faced by those affected by child sexual abuse, as well as offer useful information where people can turn for help. The documentary is part of a multi-platform partnership between TLC, RAINN and Darkness to Light that will include ongoing Public Service Announcements and information at TLC.com/BeTheVoice containing access to important resources, experts and easy tools to support pending legislation.

          The one-hour documentary is built around the personal and emotional stories of brave survivors who have found the courage to come forward. Among them is Erin Merryn - a mom and two time survivor, who is determined to put an end to abuse with "Erin's Law," legislation that has been passed in 26 states and makes age-appropriate curriculum on personal body safety mandatory for children in schools. Also sharing her story is Terrae Lee, who was sexually abused when she was 11-years-old and is now a vocal advocate for victims, co-founding the Young Survivor's Foundation, a group offering help to others. It includes David Moody, a successful businessman who, after 45 years of harboring a painful secret, now counsels at-risk youth. And it tells the remarkable story of 11-year-old Kaelin, a brave survivor who is already channeling her pain into public speaking and education.

          Viewers will also hear from experts, including a prevention training conducted by Darkness to Light, attended by Jill and Jessa, of the Duggar family, who want to use their situation to help others and promote adult education for the protection of children. And it will highlight the National Sexual Assault Hotline, operated by RAINN which provides free, confidential support to those impacted by sexual abuse 24/7.

          The true prevalence of child sexual abuse is difficult to calculate, as most victims do not disclose their experiences. It's a silent epidemic, where open and honest discussion about its effect on the estimated 42 million survivors in America today is rarely heard. BREAKING THE SILENCE shows us how we all play a pivotal role in recognizing the signs of child abuse and preventing it - and teaching children that there are anonymous, safe places they can go to for help so they don't suffer in silence.
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