By Miroslava Cerda
In light of Sexual Assault Awareness month, Cal State Dominguez Hills featured a guest speaker April 28 who survived sexual abuse and wrote a book about it.
Bobbie Becerra, author of “Learning to Take It: How I Grew to Accept Abuse,” spoke about the hardships she encountered in her life and how she learned to accept and overcome the sexual, physical and emotional abuse she survived as a child.
Becerra said the abuse started at a young age and continued up to adolescence.
During her talk she discussed examples given in her book and explained how she learned to cope. A panel of guests were also brought in to take questions from students, faculty and staff.
Becerra guided the discussion toward healing and empowering people who had been through similar situations, as well as raising awareness.
To other victims, Becerra said, “Redefine yourself.”
The seminar also shed light on many subjects usually not talked about because of the sensitive nature of abuse.
Becerra spoke about breaking the secrecy cycle, meaning victims do not open up about abuse because they fear the consequences.
The speaker encouraged victims to speak up about what happened to them, breaking the cycle of silence.
Her personal story was harrowing. Becerra said she wanted to commit suicide by the age of 6, as well as give up later in life, but she managed to keep going.
Her brother, Roman, gave her a sense of purpose and hope to get through the trauma.
“Take care of yourself,” he would implore.
Students and survivors, event organizers said, are encouraged to come and participate in talks like these to help spread awareness.
CSUDH offers medical and psychological resources, such as counseling, to students, these services are included in their student health fees.