A north state sex abuse survivor is sharing her story in the hopes of encouraging other victims to come forward. Christene, 28, declines to make her last name public. She says the sexual abuse began when she was seven, when her stepfather started to molest her. She says, "I don't remember anything else. It was what I grew up with." She says her mother never spoke to her about inappropriate touching, and she figured what her stepfather was doing to her was normal. Christene says he would tell her, "Don't tell anybody. It's our little secret. He used code words like 'fun,' lets go have some fun, its normal, its our little secret our little club."
The abuse continued until she was 12, when she hosted a birthday party, and he molested one of her friends. She says she blamed herself. Two years later, she finally admitted what he'd been doing to her, and wrote it all down. Timothy Bird was charged, and convicted on two counts, including 'Lewdness Involving a Child,' a misdemeanor, and 'Sexual Abuse of a Child,' a 2nd degree felony. He is now a registered sex offender, living in Utah. Christene says to an outsider, spotting the abuse would have been difficult. She says he would buy her special gifts, like dolls, and other gifts for little girls. She wants parents to recognize the signs, like when an adult is offering to buy gifts and spend private time with a child. She hopes that sharing her story will inspire other children to come forward, and help parents understand who most predators really are. Christene says with good friends and a great therapist, there's hope for recovery.