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Monday, May 6, 2013

Scott Brown keynote speaker at the Childhood Advocacy Centers of Hillsborough County’s Annual Gala

NASHUA – His speech only took 10 minutes, but former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown made a big point at the Childhood Advocacy Centers of Hillsborough County’s Annual Gala on Saturday.

“I remember the ‘I’ll kill you,’” Brown said, in an attempt to emphasize the terror an abused child feels when faced with the decision to confess that they have been abused or to live with the fear of being harmed. “I’m 53 years old. Imagine the 6-, 7-, 10-year-old trying to tell.” ...

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NASHUA – His speech only took 10 minutes, but former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown made a big point at the Childhood Advocacy Centers of Hillsborough County’s Annual Gala on Saturday.

“I remember the ‘I’ll kill you,’” Brown said, in an attempt to emphasize the terror an abused child feels when faced with the decision to confess that they have been abused or to live with the fear of being harmed. “I’m 53 years old. Imagine the 6-, 7-, 10-year-old trying to tell.”

Brown, a survivor of childhood abuse, praised the center for its work recounting the ways he could have benefited from the type of support the center offers.

“I lived it,” Brown said. “There aren’t too many public officials who have come out to talk about it. I wrote a book about it.”

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t look back on my life. It took me over 45 years to confront these things.”

CAC Director Erin McIntyre said Brown was a unique individual to have at the gala at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nashua and believed he would be an asset to the fundraising efforts.

“He’s a survivor,” McIntyre said. “It’s hard to find men who have come forward because they don’t usually talk about it.”

McIntyre, along with Kristie Palestino, Executive Director of the Granite State Children’s Alliance, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, and others worked together to bring Brown to the event as the evening’s Victim Impact Speaker because of his background.

Brown, who has alluded to testing the waters for a U.S. Senate seat in New Hampshire, said his appearance wasn’t politically motivated.

“It’s not political, it’s personal,” he said.

The event was attended by a who’s-who of New Hampshire philanthropists and local figures including Mayor Donnalee Lozeau, Ayotte, Attorney General Michael Delaney and many others.

Palestino, described the event, a Venetian Masked Ball that sold out at 300 guests, as the CAC’s main fundraising event for the year, bringing in at least 40 percent of the organization’s working budget each year.

McIntyre called the gala the “genesis of the means to do what we do.”

The funds raised go directly to the organization’s working budget for the year, which pays to help connect abused children with support to help identify abuse and advocate for a solution.

Palestino said holding a charity event for a difficult subject is a delicate endeavor and that finding a happy medium between talking about child abuse and showing people a good time takes a soft touch.

“We show people a good time, but I’m also going to share the real truth about what happens in New Hampshire,” Palestino said. “It brings home what we do.”

During her speech Palestino shared the story of a 3-year-old child from New Hampshire whose mother is accused of sexual abusing the child and sending photos of that abuse overseas.

“Those images will be there forever,” Palestino said. “We need to talk about child sexual abuse. It is happening here in New Hampshire every day. We will go town by town, day by day and give those children a voice.”