San Antonio – After learning that several children were allegedly sexually abused by a man they met at church, one local nonprofit organization is stepping in with free services to the victims and their families.
That organization, King’s Angels, provides resources and mental health services to at-risk and abused children. They also provide services to those who have been through trauma.
“When King Jay was found deceased in January, my heart shattered,” said Jasmine McGill, executive director. “I didn’t know what to do at first, but then I realized he had brothers, so the only thing I am thinking is changing their outcome in life, so they didn’t end up like King. I jumped in and fell in love with charity and community and giving back and helping that family so much that I realized I can do this for other kids.”
McGill said she was sick to her stomach when she read about Joshua Alvarez’s arrest. He is accused of sexually abusing seven children, including five he met at his church.
“This hit home with me,” McGill said. “I have never, on camera, said anything about this before. I was raped. I was molested by a youth leader at my church in Corpus Christi, Texas, and so when I read this article, it was the first time since my abuse had happened that I had seen it happen to another kid.”
McGill knew she had to do something.
“I have been through this,” McGill said. “I know what these kids are feeling. I know that they trusted this man. I know exactly how to help them, and if there is anybody out there that can help them, I know that it is me and my team.”
According to Darkness To Light End Child Sexual Abuse, 60% of sexual abuse cases are played out by someone the victim trusted.
“The whole stranger danger is a myth because more than half the cases are not from strangers,” McGill said. “They are from people they trust. Predators like Joshua Alvarez, not only do they groom the children, they groom the parents, too."
McGill said she has learned to deal with her pain from being sexually assaulted in her own way.
“I have turned it around,” McGill said. “Charity is my medicine. I go out and help these kids.”
Her goal is for King’s Angels to provide long-term therapy for the children and their families.
“Statistics show if they don’t get therapy, almost 80% of them are likely to become substance abusers, alcoholics,” McGill said. “More than 50% of them will have suicidal thoughts. The statistics are just devastating.”
She said it is crucial that they find the children affected as soon as possible.
“I want them to know — don’t be ashamed,” McGill said. “Do not be ashamed. Be a survivor. Accept what has happened and still love yourself, and give yourself enough respect to get help.”
McGill said the nonprofit has certified licensed clinicians ready to go at any moment.
“We can help you, and we can protect you,” McGill said. “Everything we do is 100% confidential. I want the church to reach out to know that we are a safe haven for the victims and families. We follow the HIPPA laws.”
McGill added that she is also very proud of the children for speaking up. She said she would stress to Alvarez that forgiveness is tough to do.
“I want him to know that he has caused these kids tremendous pain,” McGill said. “They will experience this pain for the next 80 years of their lives. It was bold of him to approach those families.”
She said her faith has brought her through her pain, which is why she says she hopes families continue to trust God.
“When things like this happen, a lot of people are on edge, and they look at God and say, 'How can you let this happen to an innocent child?’ All I can say is that God gave us free will, but the more we take him out of schools, out of America, and remove him from the equation, the worse things are going to get and the worse they are getting.”
Families who are interested in getting free long-term therapy can contact McGill directly at email@example.com, or call (210) 823-1966.
“God put me right here for a reason,” McGill said. “He woke me up today with purpose to find these kids, to find their families and engulf them in love because they are going to need it. And to anyone out there, if you were being abused — sexually, mentally or financially — if you believe in God or not, we are still going to help because that is what our God wants us to do.”