20. Candice’s Corner

Posted: May 11, 2009 in African American, family
Tags: , ,

FathersFootprints has realized the need to allow guest presenters to provide content and lead certian discussions.  To kick off this new approach, we are re-introducing the 2003 Miss California USA, Candice Marie Sanders.  Due to the onslaught of coments provided to both Candice and myself concerning the profound issues of sexual abuse and domestic violence, FathersFootprints has decided to create a forum whereby Candice will generate topics of specific discussion.  She will be soliciting feedback and will subsequently post the top 2-3 responses with our faithful readers.  Candice, it’s all yours…..

[Candice] I am extremely excited that Damon provided me an opportunity to discuss these issues on the FathersFootprints’ blogsite.  During my recent interview with Damon (see: Daddy’s Little Woman – The Candice Sanders’ Story) I touched very briefly on the issue of sexual and domestic violence.  I believe that these two culprits haunt many women today.  I also believe that these issues prevent us from having healthy, loving relationships.

Most people who have endured trauma to this extent often blame themselves and fall prey to destructive behavioral health patterns.  It is critical to know you’re not alone and that the road to recovery is possible indeed.  It’s not easy.  I continue along my personal journey of learning more about the issue I have and the healing.

If you want to share your story, observations or experiences directly with me, feel free to email me directly at candicemariepublicity@gmail.com.  Please indicate whether or not you want your story published on this blogsite or whether you want it to be kept private.  The intent of Candice’s Corner is to be a resource and a help to those in need.

Additionally, I will be providing resources in these subject areas.  I firmly believe that through sharing we can find healing.  You are not alone.  If you dare to share your story, you could possibly help someone you’ve never even laid eyes on.

 candice corner

Candice Marie…xo

  1. C. Anthony says:

    This is excellent. All it takes is one person with the strength and resolve to open up, and others can feel the healing within themselves. Thank you CMS for finding the inner strength to help others find healing.

  2. Matthew James says:

    The Powerful Testimony of “Matthew James”

    (Deep Breath) I think I am finally ready to have the courage to speak out about the abuse I endured as a child. I have never admitted this abuse to anyone outside my lawyers, family and close friends, but after listening to you speak about your life ordeals I feel like you are someone that may have a true understanding of my pain. I debated disclosing this for a few weeks now. I hope this is not out of line to disclose to u. If so I apologize in advance. I was a 10 year old student and altar boy at a catholic church in WA. I had an alcoholic father who was not emotionally involved. I was picked out by a pedophile priest who I am sure groomed me because I was timid and my dad was not around. This priest molested me for an entire school year.

    My mom was happy to see this priest take an interest in me and take me on trips and spend extra time. He was a very smooth and well liked figure in our community. This occurred in the late 70’s and at that time there was not much education about sexual abuse. I was ashamed and felt I had no one to turn to. I kept this abuse a secret for 20 years until I was a child protection specialist and these untold issues began to take a toll on me and my work. I developed a pot habit that was getting out of control. This drug abuse led me to seek therapy.

    It was in therapy that I became aware of the fact that my childhood abuse coupled with my older brother’s suicide had led me to use pot to mask my pain. I finally sued the catholic church with the support of my 2nd wife. Her support gave me the courage to speak up and hold the priest and church accountable. The priest did not live to see the conclusion of this case unfortunately. I had hoped I could confront this guy and gain closure more fully.

    There were other boys (now men) that were involved in this now class action suit. This man was allowed to move from place to place untouched. In the end I was awarded a 6 figure settlement. The money I received in no way took away the pain and this abuse caused me. The lawsuit did in some way ease the guilt that I put on myself for not speaking up sooner. I always felt a little responsible for not speaking up earlier and possibly stopping more abuse from occurring.

    I believe the abuse I survived led me to go into social work and attempt to stop abusers from hurting innocent victims like myself. I no longer feel like I am a victim, I feel like I am a survivor. This event and others have truly shaped me into the caring, empathetic person that I have become today. When I come across people like yourself who have been open about their life and use their abuse as a way to assist and help others, I feel empowered and encouraged to speak out and attempt to make a difference in at least one person’s life.

    I feel like my life can be used as an example for others who endure similar abuses. My hope is that I can help others through education about speaking up when someone is hurting you. Thanks for allowing me to share my story with you Candice. You truly are someone I respect and for some reason trust. I hope to one day meet you and become more than a FB friend. I have few real friends because of my lack of trust. I am working on my issues and am glad to say that I am no longer using any substances to mask my pain. I actually am a pretty happy person these days and love to laugh and have fun. I guess I just want to begin to use my life for a higher purpose.

    Dang I feel like I should pay you for this therapy session.

    Take care,

    “Matthew James”

    • candicemarie...xo says:

      Dearest Matthew,

      I cannot say thank you enough for sharing your riveting story of pain and triumph. Thank you for trusting me with your deepest secrets and thoughts. It is people like you, who promote healing within the lives of others, by breaking your silence. As I read your story, I honestly sat back in awe at what you’ve endured as a child and young man.

      What strikes me most about you, is your will to not only survive this trauma but the audacious way in which you have chosen to live! I do understand the issues of trust that you have, as I have the same issues. I know we have to be patient with ourselves and even more patient with the process of healing. We must fervently strive daily to learn from our pasts and gain the insight and wisdom to trust again. When trust has been violated during childhood, it is an arduous and painstaking process to manage trusting again in all areas of our lives.

      With time and continued diligence to learn from our experiences and those of others, I know we will trust again…little by little.

      All my love,
      Candice Marie…xo

  3. No Name says:

    Ok here we go….I can remember my grandmother hating my mom so much that after she died my grandmother would do stuff to me. She would get drunk and touch me. She knew I was scared of the dark so she would tie me up and put me in the closet and used objects to touch my private with. I have stop here its too much.

    • candicemarie...xo says:

      Dearest “Anonymous No Name,”
      I have some resources that I really want to share with you. I’m going to my library to find a few things that may help you begin dealing with the horrible and despicable ordeal you had to endure and still struggle with today. I really want to make sure I take the time to put thought into an extensive reply to what you have shared here.

      I can see the bravery you have exhibited in reaching out to me. Know that you are valued and loved. I will have something posted for you specifically later this evening. I want to take my time and ensure I offer the best encouragement possible. Until later.

      All my Love,
      Candice Marie…xo

    • candicemarie...xo says:

      Dearest Friend,

      I’ll call you, “friend,” instead of “no name.” This is a resource that I often utilize for myself, & it’s really helped me begin the process of understanding sexual abuse, but more importantly INCEST. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information. I can see how sweet and fragile you are right now, and the best approach is for me to simply offer you love, support, and encouragement.

      The website in which I am sending you is called, RAINN. The acronym stands for: Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network.


      Please, please take the time to review this treasure of information, love, and support. If you’re comfortable, and you certainly don’t have to share your name or any information about you at all. I’d really like you to contact me personally: candicemariepublicity@gmail.com

      Because of the sensitivity of your situation, I feel it’s better addressed privately. I look forward to hearing from you, ONLY WHEN YOU’RE READY. Know that you’re not alone.

      All my Love,
      Candice Marie…xo

      • candicemarie...xo says:

        Dearest Friend, (Resubmitting this due to others not being able to see my reply from yesterday)

        I’ll call you, “friend,” instead of “no name.” This is a resource that I often utilize for myself, & it’s really helped me begin the process of understanding sexual abuse, but more importantly INCEST. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information. I can see how sweet and fragile you are right now, and the best approach is for me to simply offer you love, support, and encouragement.

        The website in which I am sending you is called, RAINN. The acronym stands for: Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network.


        Please, please take the time to review this treasure of information, love, and support. If you’re comfortable, and you certainly don’t have to share your name or any information about you at all. I’d really like you to contact me personally: candicemariepublicity@gmail.com

        Because of the sensitivity of your situation, I feel it’s better addressed privately. I look forward to hearing from you, ONLY WHEN YOU’RE READY. Know that you’re not alone.

        All my Love,
        Candice Marie…xo

  4. C. Anthony says:

    Matthew, it truly impresses and inspires me personally that you’ve found the inner strength to share this story, and I’m glad that you found not only the ability to survive but the desire to give back to others who have similar problems and struggles. If there’s one thing that I know for a fact, it’s that yes, you can trust Candice. She is the genuine article and sincerely desires to share and help through sharing.

    Anonymous No Name, just through the brief story you related, it is clear to see that you have been through a horrible ordeal as well. For what it’s worth, anyone reading this would be proud of you for taking a huge step by sharing just this little bit. As Candice said, you are valued and loved by those who take the time to read your entry, and we all are grateful to know you, even just this little bit. I also guarantee that Candice will have a response up as soon as humanly possible. Please be encouraged.

    For what it’s worth, I find strength in all of you who post here, and I hope that everyone here can encourage and help each other.

    Peace and Blessings.
    C. Anthony

  5. Keshia says:

    Thank you Dr Duncan for teaming up with Candice on this subject I have been through alot in the past sort of the samething as anonymous except it was my brother. He used to make me do oral sex on him. This went on for 8 years. when I turned 15 I stabbed him. I’m still deaing wth it. I felt nasty. Thanks for allowing me to share my story.

  6. candicemarie...xo says:

    Dearest Keshia,

    Thank you for the bravery you’ve shown in posting your story. I really want to take the night to reply to you. The torture of what you’ve endured is almost unspeakable. However, this is why Damon and I really wanted to reach out in some way. Your stories, your pain, your endurance, should be given a forum, some sort of voice, where you don’t have to suffer in silence.

    I will research a few things for you, as I have for others. I will post a reply that is in depth and suited to what you have shared. I do highly recommend that you go to the RAAIN website.

    You’re also welcome to contact me at: candicemariepublicity@gmail.com
    All will be kept private.


    RAAIN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) provides invaluable support for people just like you. Until tomorrow.

    All of my Love,
    Candice Marie…xo

    • Candice Marie...xo says:

      Dearest Keisha,

      I am still gathering resources for you. I see after the abuse, you stabbed your brother. This is a prime example of how a lot of us are forced to keep secrets. As time goes by, inexplicable anger and resentment builds, and we either implode or explode. You probably feel at fault for what happened. It’s not your fault. No one should ever blame you. EVER!

      I understand what it’s like to “feel nasty.” I am learning how to grow past the shame and guilt that kept me shackled in a prison of feeling disgusting and unloved. I have to work at it daily through prayer, meditation, and reading various books.

      I hope you’re still out there, Keisha. Know you’re loved. I love you. Please, please, feel free to contact me: candicemariepublicity@gmail.com.

      I really want to correspond with you a bit more, in order to grasp more of your story. As I do for everyone, everything you share with me privately will be kept that way, unless you choose to share.

      All my love,
      Candice Marie…xo

  7. M. Ford says:

    Candice I was raped by my dad and the age of 16 I gave birth to a stillborn child by my father. I ran away from home to be brought to that house and the abuse continued My mom was in denial. I later turned to the streets and became a prostitute. I have been struggling with my demons can you direct me to a place forome helptoo?

    • Candice Marie...xo says:

      Dearest M. Ford,

      Thank you so much writing and sharing here. I often wonder what in God’s name were parents thinking or any parent who abuses their own children. These stories stir my soul to anger initially. However, I must be about my Father’s business with a clear mind, in order to be of some assistance to you. Are you off the streets, dear? Are you safe? Could you email your location to me or post it here? I can send you to some places to find refuge if you need it right away.

      I’m going into my prayer closet RIGHT NOW and ask for the grace of God to be upon me, as I search my soul to provide the best assistance and encouragement I can for you. Thank you for BREAKING THE SILENCE. Thank you for wanting help. You are loved. Please contact me anytime at: candicemariepublicity@gmail.com

      All will be kept private. Thank you for trusting this forum and for trusting me to provide some sort of relief and healing in your life.

      All my Love,
      Candice Marie…xo

  8. C. Anthony says:

    The following story is not my own, but someone very close to me. I share it in hopes that maybe it will add to the understanding that is fostered here and give others hope.

    At the age of 14, she was sexually abused by a significantly older family member. The family member gave her alcohol, and then proceeded to molest her. Upon telling her family about what happened, she was told to keep it quiet, to forget about it. Obviously, that wasn’t going to happen, but she tried.

    Three years later, she was raped, this time by peers at her high school at a friend’s party. Bruised and beaten, she left the party and returned home, again to find that no one would do anything about it.

    At 19, she got into a relatively normal relationship and thought she could leave the past behind. Unfortunately, because of her naivete, she again found herself in a compromising position, this time with the chef at her favorite sushi place who she thought was her friend, but he still took advantage of her. She told her boyfriend, who dismissed it, just as her family had done previously.

    The final event was 4 years later. She went to Jamaica on a vacation and stayed at one of the resorts. While there, she befriended a few of the workers. One of them took a greater interest in her than the others and made it a point to always be around. He told her that he’d fallen in love with her. When she refused his advances, he forced himself on her.

    When she returned from Jamaica, her new boyfriend immediately noticed something wasn’t right. She turned aggressive toward him, trying to, in a sense, undo what had been done to her. He stopped her, and forced her to tell him what happened. When she finally was able to admit the horrors that she had been through in her life, the cycle had finally been broken.

    Because she had never been able to talk about it, and no one had ever cared to listen, she found herself seemingly doomed to repeat certain feelings and situations.

    I share all of this to say that hopefully by sharing your pain and experiences, you’re releasing the hold that it has, the power the event had over you, and are taking a major step toward moving on with your life in a positive new direction.

    That person that I spoke of was my wife. Though she’s deceased now, I hope that by sharing her experiences it can help others to know that they are not alone.

  9. John says:

    Candice’s corner and other outlets like it are so vital. They allow survivors of abuse to share their stories in a safe and supportive environment. More than anything survivors just need someone to listen and acknowledge their pain. I just want to thank you for allowing people the opportunity to start on their road to recovery. Each person is so important and we should treat each one with the respect and honor they truly deserve. Abuse should never be hidden. It’s crucial that survivors speak out and receive the love and support necessary for their recovery.

  10. Candice Marie...xo says:

    Dearest C. Anthony,

    Thank you…I have to admit that I’m in tears. I identify with every story on Candice’s Corner. Your stories are infinitely POWERFUL and will help others know they’re not alone. I’m immensely proud that so many of you are breaking your silence. By doing so, it EMPOWERS YOU. You regain control of your lives. It’s time to RECLAIM YOUR BODIES, MINDS, SOULS, HEARTS, AND SPIRITS.

    C. Anthony, I noticed that your wife, like so many others, including myself, fell prey to the vicious repetitive cycle of almost reenacting the abuse she suffered as a child. It’s very common, and it takes a serious soul searching effort to not put ourselves in compromising situations.

    The first step is BREAKING YOUR SILENCE. You’re all doing that…it’s the beginning of a long journey of healing. I AM SO PROUD OF EVERYONE HERE FOR CHOOSING TO LEND YOUR VOICE…not only will this start a process of healing for you, but IT ENCOURAGES OTHERS to do the same. WE ARE NOT ALONE. Thank you from the depths of everything I am for sharing, C. Anthony.

    All my Love,
    Candice Marie…xo

  11. Candice, I am so glad to hear that you have teamed up with Damon to serve as a voice, resource and advocate for those who have been impacted by domestic violence, and sexual abuse. This is a much needed space for people to share their stories, gain access to resources and know that they are not alone.

    • Candice Marie...xo says:

      Dearest Cassandra,

      Thank you for the wonderful comment, love. I enjoy reading your work so much! Please take the freedom of leaving a link here, so that others may enjoy your work, as much as I do!

      All my Love,
      Candice Marie…xo

  12. chelsea says:

    I wanna thank you & Mr Duncan for open the door for these people to talk about what has happen to them and the wonderful advice you al have been giving. I believe God is working through ou all. Never realize how cruel some of these acts of abuse are.

    • Candice Marie...xo says:

      Dearest Chelsea,

      First, thank you for supporting Damon and I, in matters that truly live in our hearts. The cruelty is astounding and flatly disgusting. After reading emails and posts, I have to pray immediately to clear my thoughts and ask for the wisdom to share something, anything…that will be of some assistance to the amazing souls who come here in vulnerability and pain. Thanks again for your comment of encouragement.

      All my Love,
      Candice Marie…xo

  13. Dearest Friends,


    Please meet my friend Troy and one of the most kindred spirits ever! I adore Troy…and consider her as somewhat of a big sister to me. She’s so passionate about empowering others. I love that! Troy’s been an incredible help to me on my journey in this life.

    It’s her compassion that truly drew me to her initially. Tune in to hear a very powerful, strong, and kind woman. Her life story is nothing short of phenomenal! Oh, and BUY HER BOOK! IT ROCKS!!!!!

    All my Love,
    Candice Marie…xo

  14. Candice Marie...xo says:

    Dearest Friends,

    There’s a common belief in this world that it’s an impossibility for men to have experienced the same horrific sexual abuse as women. FALSE. They have been victimized too. I’d like to extend my thanks to John for providing the following link to a vast amount of resources for men who have suffered sexual abuse at some point in their lives.

    Men are castigated for breaking their silence about sexual abuse in our society. This must cease. Every person deserves and needs to begin the process of recovery and healing. Thank you John for sending this website. I have reviewed it, and it’s excellent! If you know of men who are suffering in silence, please be sensitive and of colossal encouragement to them. One of the ways you can support them is by reviewing the following website:


    All my Love,
    Candice Marie…xo

  15. craig says:

    This is truly amazing that these horrible things have been happening to so many folks. My prayers go out to all of them….Thank God for you & Dr. Duncan.

  16. John says:

    This poem is 4 all those who have suffered abuse or neglect and those that are curently suffering. I pray 4 your strengh and the courage to speak up. It is possible to go from victim to survivor to creator.

    “Quiet Child”

    Quiet child so meek and mild, Quiet child was once defiled,
    Quiet child your love is true, it’s not your fault what he did 2 u.
    Quiet child please speak up now, your safe with me so let it out.
    Quiet child, nothing to say, staying quiet is the only way.
    Quiet child, so sad and blue. I can see the love inside of u.
    Quiet child you’ll rise again, your not alone, Il am your friend.

    (c)2009 John Kennedy LaBerge.
    All rights reserved. No duplication without authorization.

    • Candice Marie...xo says:

      Dearest John,

      “Quiet Child” is powerful and lovely. Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us. I’m proud of you for breaking that unspeakable silence which we’ve all suffered at some point.

      I know today was very significant for you. I want you to know how proud he’d be of you. I know his spirit is beaming from the heavens and shining on you this day and everyday.

      All my Love,
      Candice Marie…xo

  17. Belinda says:

    This is all so very powerful!! My prayers go out to the victims, survivors, their family and loved ones. This has really touched my heart in ways that I am unable to express. May God bless you and Damon in a great way to keep helping and empowering others. This is what it is all about. My prayers have changed to include so many who are suffering, both male and female. Individuals who do these horrific acts need help, they are SICK! Keep up the good work!!

  18. John says:

    I have to say that there is so much power in sharing life’s pain with others. I cannot express the gratitude I have for you for bringing this forum to fuition. My life is better after knowing you. You are a bright light Candice, keep shining! Much love and happiness to you my friend and comrade. Be blessed and thanks for being a blessing to me and so many others.

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