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Childhood molestation survivor speaks out to shed light on the trauma

Bryan man proves it's never too late to seek help after suffering childhood trauma.

BRYAN, Texas — In April, several groups began to spread awareness about childhood abuse and ways to help those who’ve been affected.

Sedrick Gilbert grew up in Bryan, having mostly good memories in his first neighborhood near Neal Park. Until one day when he experienced something unexpected. 

“It left me traumatized for the majority of my life," said Gilbert.

Gilbert said he survived years of childhood molestation from a member of his family. Something that went on for years. It started when he was just four years old and lasted until he was in the 7th grade. 

“He began to touch me and…it created a lot of confusion in my life," said Gilbert. 

As Gilbert’s confusion began to grow he said he finally found the courage to tell his perpetrator to stop, but he said after that, his confusion quickly turned to fear.

“It took on a more sinister turn when I was telling him no," said Gilbert. 

One night, Gilbert left his grandparents after seeing his perpetrator on the property, but he eventually came forward sharing with his family what was happening.

“It felt as though no one had taken it seriously in my family," said Gilbert. 

Eventually, Gilbert got help from the Sexual Assault Resource Center which states molestation should always be taken seriously.

“Childhood trauma is such a pervasive thing. You know it lives with you your entire life," said Lindsey Leblanc, the Executive Director for SARC.

Leblanc said that often times survivors have a hard time disclosing their situations but that the group is able to help, even years later.

“If someone did receive services, or maybe they didn’t receive services but were molested as a child, we can serve them later in life." Said Leblanc. "We can help them if something in adulthood triggers them or something happens. Which is often what happens, we’re able to serve them." 

Leblanc said SARC offers everything from counseling to advocacy support through legal avenues, all to help make a survivor know they’re not alone.

“We’re basically there for them the entire journey if that survivor wants us there. It’s always up to the survivor, the survivor is given a choice if they want us to walk with them. But we’re there every step of the way," said Leblanc.

Gilbert said he wouldn’t be where he is now if not for the help he received and after finding his faith through the struggles.

“He has empowered me now and turn my pain into purpose," said Gilbert.

The survivor said he eventually confronted the man he’d feared and said he found the strength to forgive him for what he’d done.

“As soon as I opened my mouth, what came out was none of that, it was I forgive you…and it was genuine," said Gilbert.

Now Gilbert is using his experience to help other survivors know they’re not alone.

“It’s important for me, now that I’ve been healed to do my best to bring light to those who are in darkness, let them know they’re not alone, let them know there is hope," said Gilbert. 

Leblanc said if you’re looking for assistance call their offices or their hotline at 979-731-1000.

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