South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley
Greenville, SC (The Greenville News) -- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said she was abused as a girl by a child-care
provider, offering a rare, personal disclosure of her growing up meant
to underscore the challenges any community faces in protecting its
"It doesn't matter your
background, it doesn't matter your education, it doesn't matter the
wealth of your family," Haley said. "Every child is subject to child
abuse. And it was a day-care provider that was taking care of me."
Haley described the abuse in her book Can't Is Not an Option: My American Story.
in Greenville, she said she was recounting what happened to illustrate
that the threat is real, and any city and town must come to grips with
In the small town where she lived, her mother sensed something was wrong, Haley said.
"I never wanted to go," Haley said. "But she didn't know quite what it was and didn't think anything of it."
"One day I came home and I had a lot of bruises and a lot of issues," Haley said.
her mother confronted the couple taking care of her, "they packed up
and they left," Haley said. "We never got to deal with it."
spoke at a press conference at Greenville Health System, where
community and health officials discussed a recent report, titled Silent
Tears, that calls for child sex-abuse cases to be resolved more quickly.
Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins, responsible for prosecution in
Greenville and Pickens counties, has told our news partners at GreenvilleOnline.com his
office is dealing with an increasing number of cases involving criminal
sexual conduct with children.
said he wants more prosecutors to handle those cases and is urging more
education and prevention, additional child-advocacy centers and
Silent Tears report came out earlier this year and was the result of a
yearlong review by the National Child Protection Training Center of
child sex abuse in South Carolina. The report says coordination and
training are key to successfully prosecuting child abuse cases.
study found that most of those directly involved in handling child
sexual abuse cases have no undergraduate or graduate training directly
dealing with child abuse cases.
The report said that in many respects, the child-protection system in South Carolina is among the best in the nation.
Haley issued a call to action in the Upstate, saying "When it happened
to me, my parents didn't know what to do. They didn't know who to go to.
No one knew how to handle it."