Sept 27, 2017
2017 Celebrity Walk and Breakfast

Angela Rose brings empowerment message to CTC breakfast

An American survivor of a kidnapping and sexual assault brought a special message of empowerment to the Children's Treatment Centre Celebrity Walk and Breakfast.

"This is a safe space," Angela Rose said during her opening remarks before 600 people at the Cornwall Civic Complex on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017.

"We're going to be talking about a tough issue. You personally know a survivor. Sexual assault touches all of us. One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18. That means all of us in our personal life knows somebody who has been impacted by this," Rose said.

She detailed her survival after being abducted in a shopping mall in Chicago in 1996 when she was 17 years old. Her push to find the perpetrator, who was eventually caught and convicted, led her to start PAVE: Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment. It's a non-profit organization, educating and promoting action in the United States, Canada and England, surrounding sexual violence.

"Everybody's first reaction is to just push it under the rug and not talk about it. Sexual assault, it's embarrassing. I want to say there's no shame in being a survivor," Rose said, detailing her initial negative experience with police, who believed she had made up the attack.

Rose, who is also an author, reflected on the Children's Treatment Centre programs, highlighting three of them: the Healing Program, Sexual Offender Rehabilitation Program and a new program zeroing in on children participating in inappropriate sexual activity.

"What is so critically important is to have the trained help," Rose said.

She challenged those at the breakfast to raise $250,000 this year.

Her speech concluded with a number of empowering messages, telling people that "tomorrow is promised to no one" and to live every day to the fullest with a positive attitude. "We choose what we put into our consciousness," Rose said.

"It's incredible to know that a life of joy and peace and happiness is absolutely possible after trauma. But it's so much easier if you have the help and support of trained professionals like here at the Children's Treatment Centre."