Patty Cabot’s Memoir: A Voice for National Child Abuse Prevention Month

By   Zoila Marenco 2 min read

Patty Cabot, author of Not That Girl Anymore (Whitefox, 2023), never planned to write about her childhood sexual abuse. She had spent much of her life concealing this part of her past due to the shame it brought forth. Patty struggled with severe weight fluctuations for 20 years, believing this hindered her from forming romantic relationships. Desperate to break this cycle and open herself to love, she sought help from a therapist specialising in eating disorders. Her therapist suggested that Patty’s weight issues were a symptom of a deeper problem, her childhood sexual abuse. Resolving this issue became crucial for Patty to attain the love she yearned for.

This realisation marked the beginning of a 12-year healing journey involving: Patty’s therapist, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a chiropractor to release trapped ‘fight or flight’ responses, a sex therapist and a group therapy for sexual abuse victims. Writing about her therapy experiences became a method for Patty to confront her past, forming the foundation for her memoir.

Patty says, ‘I don’t think I’m unique in that all I could see was what was right in front of me, my body. What I’ve learned is that if you keep fighting the same battle repeatedly, you’re likely not addressing the root cause.’

Child sexual abuse is a difficult topic, but it is heartbreakingly common – one in three girls and one in five boys are sexually abused. Additionally, more than 42 million Americans have experienced sexual abuse, almost 29 million have an eating disorder and these two experiences often exist in combination.

Child abuse, including sexual abuse, impacts millions each year. Many cases go unreported due to victims’ shame. With up to 3.6 million cases reported annually, we cannot ignore this widespread problem. These figures only represent reported incidents, leaving us to confront a disturbing question: What about the many instances where victims are too scared or ashamed to come forward? This is especially true for child sexual abuse, an issue often veiled in silence and stigma.

According to Child Protect, child sexual abuse statistics are alarming:

  • Authorities receive a new report of child sexual abuse every 9 minutes.
  • 1 out of every 3 girls and 1 out of every 5 boys will experience sexual abuse before they turn 18.
  • In 90% of child sexual abuse cases, the victim knows the perpetrator.

Children who endure these experiences often carry a lifetime of shame and stigma; Patty felt permanently damaged by her experiences for most of her life.

That’s why she partnered with Whitefox to publish her memoir, Not That Girl Anymore. Her primary goal is to support those dealing with the aftermath of trauma. Patty firmly believes it’s possible to reclaim your life and heal from such trauma. Her life attests to this possibility, and she believes others can achieve this as well. You can learn more about Patty Cabot and her memoir here.

For more information on the figures mentioned above, please refer to the following sources:

Zoila Marenco
Zoila Marenco
Zoila has five years of experience in client management. She transitioned from working in an organisation offering talent management services to a tech startup specialising in behavioural change in teams. Her experience with clients and communities prompted her move to marketing, taking on the role of a community manager to help Whitefox build, expand and oversee online communities.