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Bureau County resident makes PSA to battle child sex abuse

Sarah Scruggs (left), executive director at Arukah Institute of Healing Inc. in Princeton, runs a teleprompter while Courtney Bayer, director of mind and body programs (right), watches a public-service announcement filmed by Brent Jamison at Arukah in Princeton. Monika Sudakov (far right), who was sexually abused as a child, spoke during the PSA. Arukah Institute of Healing is a community holistic mental health culture that uses creative arts, elements, and people to journey with people long-term during their healing.
Sarah Scruggs (left), executive director at Arukah Institute of Healing Inc. in Princeton, runs a teleprompter while Courtney Bayer, director of mind and body programs (right), watches a public-service announcement filmed by Brent Jamison at Arukah in Princeton. Monika Sudakov (far right), who was sexually abused as a child, spoke during the PSA. Arukah Institute of Healing is a community holistic mental health culture that uses creative arts, elements, and people to journey with people long-term during their healing.

PRINCETON — Monika Sudakov knows firsthand the effects childhood sexual abuse can have on a person, so she’s making it a mission to advocate for prevention in hopes of sparing others the pain she’s experienced.

Sudakov, a Sheffield resident, grew to adulthood without the proper support to deal with her trauma-she says it wasn’t unusual for family members who knew about her abuse to shrug it off, telling her that’s how it was in the “old country.”

As an adult, she has spent the last several years working with therapists to get through that trauma, and though it’s been a long and tough road for her, she decided early on to speak her truth in order to help others without voices.

Her latest project is a public service announcement filmed by Jamison Media and with the assistance of Arukah Institute of Healing in Princeton.

“A friend approached me recently looking for resources,” she said. “She was concerned about a family member and how to approach her about those concerns.”

“It turns out the person refused to share the materials with her (young) children and it made me furious because the materials were age-appropriate and her kids are of an age to learn about body safety,” Sudakov said. “Not talking to kids about this is negligent — you’re not going to harm them by discussing it with them.”

Though the subject is slowly becoming less taboo, Erin’s Law mandates school-age children receive prevention-oriented sexual abuse education, Sudakov said it still is frustrating that people are resistant to talking to their kids about it.

“I wanted to do something positive to channel the energy I see from people opening up to the idea,” Sudakov said.

The PSA, which will be available on Youtube and through Sudakov’s social media platforms is one she hopes will normalize the idea that children, even young ones need to be able to discuss personal body safety to prevent them from becoming victims.

She’ll also be running the PSA as part of an April art show at Prairie Arts Center in Princton in conjunction with Sexual Abuse Awareness Month.

Where can I see the video?
Child Sex Abuse is an Epidemic by Monika Sudakov on You Tube:
https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fyoutu.be%2F8NjPYxRy9X8%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR36z12tUMUQYWvhzU8dUvBQ2JonTbSE8NiSLKd2OmATqx_6v-VtHrFsSa0&h=AT1m9Bir5KWM--8V9BKgA6ZKTEjbeIWNmtrLvGYmBop6KYZXCE6BCBy_oaI2C6Ibf4wd_x0_K33hpUVHopIlRtzO1Pv7PgqqPpBfsqUWCu87bWaKXm_jSz-blGy1lj0HYB3ryMb1oQ

Kim Shute can be reached at (815) 879-5200 or kshute@shawmedia.com Follow her on Twitter at NT_Princeton2.

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