One out of every four girls and one out of six boys will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18, according to national statistics.
As a child, Martha "Marti" Martin suffered years of sexual abuse, but in her adult life found freedom. She was able to heal from her past and has dedicated her time to helping other survivors of sexual assault. Recently she has decided to focus her efforts on sex offenders.
"I believe that focusing my efforts on the offenders rather than their victims may begin to lessen the number of sexual abuse cases," she said.
Her presentation is called "So Now What? Next Steps to Transformation" and she has taken her program into the prison in Huntsville. During the program, which is faith based, she facilitates a three hour interactive workshop to 75 inmates.
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"I focus a lot on their past, because many of them have been victims of sexual abuse themselves," she said. "Until they go back and deal with their issues they don’t understand why they have certain affinities. Again, those memories are ingrained in us whether we like it or not, victim or not."
Martin's efforts were acknowledged by the state of Texas when she was given the Sex Offender Rehabilitation Program Award during the Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Ceremony.
"I think the misconception so often is that, once they’re incarcerated for their crime that we’re just never gonna have to deal with them again," she said. "And that’s just simply not true. They’re coming and out and they are coming to a neighborhood near you."
There are currently 2,958 registered sex offenders in Dallas and 971 registered sex offenders in Fort Worth.
Martin has plans to turn her prison presentation into a workbook that sex offenders can use to further understand their actions, and the consequences of their actions. She's also hoping to have her program implemented into other prisons in Texas.