Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Matt Sandusky about his Peaceful Hearts Foundation, and his efforts to use his story to help others. To him, his story is just “one of millions,” but to the rest of the world, he is one in a million.
Along with many others across the nation, I watched Matt’s recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, and was impressed by his courage and grace. Like D2L, he believes that prevention is the key to significantly decreasing the prevalence of child sexual abuse. In fact, he, his wife, and the board of Peaceful Hearts Foundation have all completed D2L’s Stewards of Children prevention training.
As we work toward a society that actively protects children, the tragic reality is that there are far too many children and adults currently dealing with the after effects of abuse. Matt wants these survivors and their families to know that hope and healing are available to them. He believes people need to know they are cared about – that they are not alone, and that there is a network of support available to them.
This is the goal of the Peaceful Hearts Foundation, to create a community that allows child sexual abuse survivors to share, support, and heal.
As a participant of one of the most high profile child sexual abuse cases the nation has seen, and as someone who experienced ongoing abuse and apathy from those who were supposed to be his protectors, it would be understandable for Matt to shy away from the spotlight. Instead, he chose to go public with his story in order to help others heal. During our conversation, Matt told me, “I’m just a guy with a big heart who honestly cares and wants to do something.”
One in a million.