Why I’m An Athlete | Meet Maricela

As a young girl I experienced so many different things, good and bad. But for some reason I mostly remember and think of the bad experiences of my life. To this day, it is so hard to talk about it with the people close to me. I lived scared, isolated, feeling sad and guilty. I remember telling my mom about one incident the day after it happened. A close relative molested me when I was 12. I talked to my mom about the incident, hoping she would tell my dad and actually do something about it, but she didn’t. I felt so betrayed and alone. The person who was supposed to protect me and keep me safe, didn’t do anything at all! Who could I have turned to? Who was going to help me overcome this and move on? I tried living my life as if nothing had happened but it is so hard to forget with the thoughts constantly frequenting my mind.  It felt so uncomfortable even just laying down on my bed.

I was finally able to gather the courage to tell the rest of my family about what happened a few years back and they were very supportive. My dad couldn’t believe my mom didn’t say anything before, and it is too late to do anything now. It was in the past, and as part of the healing process I am learning how to forgive. I don’t know when I’ll have the courage to tell my parents everything that has happened to me as a child – maybe someday that time will come. Knowing what I have been through, I worry more about helping children today that are going through similar situations, and I want to see them get the help and support they need to get away from the abuse, stay safe and overcome it!

Through education and advocacy about child abuse we can prevent things like this from happening to our children. Many people aren’t aware this is happening all over the world and that it could happen to them or their children.

I recently joined Athletes for Childhelp to fundraise to help prevent and end child abuse. I joined this group to represent Childhelp and help them save lives by doing what I love, which is playing soccer, volleyball and running! As a victim of abuse, I know how bad it feels to go through all that pain and suffering, to feel scared, sad and alone. Imagine if this would happen to you or your child. Wouldn’t you want to protect them and give them all the support they need to overcome that? I know I would! Every day, more than 5 children die as a result of child abuse and about 80% of those children are not even 4 years old yet!!!

Please help me by going to my Athletes for Childhelp page, make your contribution and join me in the fight to end child abuse! https://donate.childhelp.org/page/outreach/view/athletes-for-childhelp/MariGarcia.

Thank you so much and please share this page with your friends and family!

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