CEDAR FALLS — The son of convicted sexual abuser and former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky will be the keynote speaker at Riverview Center’s 2019 Evening of Light fundraiser.
Matthew Sandusky, founder and executive director of Peaceful Hearts Foundation, will speak at Riverview Center’s event at 5 p.m. May 8 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Cedar Falls.
Matthew was a victim of childhood sexual abuse from the age of 8 to 17 at the hands of his adopted father, Jerry Sandusky, who was subsequently sentenced to 30-60 years in prison for 52 counts of child sexual molestation. Matthew has turned his traumatic personal experience into a lifelong commitment to prevent childhood sexual abuse and to help other survivors heal.
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“Matthew is the perfect person to help grow our understanding of childhood sexual abuse, particularly how perpetrators groom and silence their victims,” said Riverview Center’s Executive Director Joey Taylor. “He is committed to shining the light on this topic that too often stays in darkness by sharing his experiences and empowering children to use their voices as the first line of defense against abuse.”
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), more than 90% of sexual violence perpetrated against children is committed by someone known by the victim. That includes family members, neighbors, friends, coaches or religious leaders.
Evening of Light 2019 will also include dinner, silent auction, services auction and raffle. Sponsorship opportunities and tickets are available now through Eventbrite, or by contacting Gwen at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 939-9599.