Turning trauma into triumph: Woman strives to end childhood abuse and neglect

A kidnap survivor is helping victims find their voice, bring awareness to often silenced problem


The stats are alarming. Nearly 700,000 children are abused and neglected in the United States each year. Five children die each day, sometimes by the hand of a stranger, often times, by someone they love.

One woman is taking her trauma and turning it into triumph by helping victims find their voice and bring awareness to a problem that is often silenced.

“A stranger drove up and had the passenger door open and asked if I liked candy,” Lori Poland, a kidnap survivor told Ivanhoe. “I was found four days later.”

38 years later, Poland is focused on changing the narrative about abuse.

“It’s really seen as a very taboo topic,” Lori shared.

Lori launched ENDCAN. She wants to bring awareness that child abuse is not just a social issue, but a mental and public health issue as well.

“They range from physical health outcomes, such as cancer, heart disease, things of that nature, but also mental health outcomes too. So, they track things like depression, suicide, substance misuse,” stated Kimberly Renk, Ph.D., Psychologist at the University of Central Florida.

ENDCAN also gives survivors a place to share their story.

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