BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – A local author and child sexual abuse survivor is sharing her story and her knowledge in the hopes of preventing others from falling victim to predators.
Amber Gregory published “Little Sweetheart” almost a year ago.
It recounts how she was groomed, abused and raped by her dance teacher when she 12 years-old.
Gregory, who grew up in Endicott, was sexually abused by an older male teacher at a Johnson City dance studio that is no longer in business.
Since releasing her book, Gregory says she has heard from a large number of other survivors. She encourages them to share their story and seek counseling if they haven’t already done so.
But she says she really wants to reach a broader audience so that she can share what she’s learned through researching child sexual abuse.
Gregory says adults are key, and young children cannot be expected to understand the warning signs from predators who are tricky, highly intelligent and long-term planners.
You can’t say to a 12 year-old, ‘Okay, you’re going to look out for this.’ They’re never going to see it coming. But informed adults, there are things you can look for. With that kind of understanding and education from conscientious, well-meaning adults, they’ll see when something’s going on that isn’t right and they’ll be able to intervene on behalf of the child.”
Gregory says she’s already spoken with some local church groups and welcomes more speaking engagements.
On August 12th, she’ll hold a book signing at Barnes and Noble in Vestal from noon until 4.
Little Sweetheart is available at Barnes and Noble and at Arrowhead Parable Book Store in Johnson City and on online book retailers.
For more information and to contact Gregory, go to littlesweetheartbook.com.