Joelle Casteix

My name is Joelle Casteix. I was born and raised in Santa Ana and still live in Orange County. I am an advocate and a leading national voice for other adult survivors of child sexual assault like myself.

As a teenager I was sexually assaulted by the choir director at my high school. He deliberately targeted me because I was vulnerable. I had spent time in a psychiatric hospital for a suicide attempt. My mother was an alcoholic. My father was in denial. I yearned for a strong adult figure in my life.

I did not yearn for an adult to repeatedly sexual assaults and rape me on school property. By the time I graduated high school, I was pregnant and had a sexually transmitted disease. And like most victims, I lived with crippling shame and secrecy.

I have devoted my career to being a voice and a source of empowerment for other survivors who, until now, were muted by their shame.

Child sexual assault is different than any other form of predatory behavior. No other assault silences its victims so successfully.

The shame is so deep, a victim will not even tell their life partner until their 30s or 40s, yet California law demands that they come forward decades before they are able.

Please consider these final facts.

In 2003, the one-year window for victims of childhood sexual assault allowed under SB 1779 (Burton) exposed 250 child predators.  Nationally, a child predator assaults an average of 50 children.
Yes Vote
A “yes” vote on AB 3120 and its new three-year window means at least that same number of predators will be exposed again.
No Vote
A “no” vote means the predators responsible for molesting 12,500 children won’t be exposed and will keep their “hunting license."

Given the weakening cultural taboos that prevented people from coming forward 15 years ago, I know for a fact that given a chance, other survivors will come forward.

In none of the states that have already taken this step have any of the dire consequences suggested by opponents resulted.

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